One on One with Co-Founder and CEO Cory Hewett and Atlanta-based Gimme Vending, LLC
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
Metro Atlanta CEO presents this spotlight profile on the dynamic Atlanta-based startup Gimme Vending, LLC through our one on one with Co-founder and CEO Cory Hewett. During our meeting, Hewett shares how he got his start in the vending business, background on its founding with CTO Evan Jarecki, and the exciting progress and growth they have made since going live with their automated vending solution just last year including a national reach and important new partnership.
Hewett offered, “Believe it or not, I got my start in the vending industry in high school. I actually owned a couple of vending machines and grew my service route to cover 26 machines. I noticed early on it was hard for people to keep track of what they had in stock in their machines.”
“Some of the challenges vending operators face include trying to keep track of how many machines they have in the field, where they are, and what is inside of them. A lot of people may not realize but there is a unique combination of products in each vending machine, typically driven by its location and their specific consumers. Vending machines at a chicken factory are going to be stocked differently than the one at the children’s hospital.”
Hewett described, “I met Evan Jarecki at Georgia Tech; we both come from an engineering background. We believed we could invent the thing that fixes these issues for vendors. After conducting serious due diligence, we came to realize there are a lot of vendors that struggle with these very issues. So, we built the hardware and software to tackle those challenges.”
Gimme Vending, LLC is a startup company established in May 2014 by co-founders Cory Hewett, CEO, and Evan Jarecki, CTO. Gimme Vending, LLC developed and offers a device and software solution that enables vending machines to communicate sales, cash and inventory data to handheld devices. Its plug-and-play solution provides vending machine owners with the ability to track cash, inventory, and speed service calls in real time. While the technology is currently focused at the vending industry, it is applicable to any unattended retail location. The company is based at the Atlanta Tech Village in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Evan and I founded Gimme Vending, LLC in May 2014. We incorporated in September that year. Then we spent a year in research and development building our solution. We went live and started making sales in 2016,” he said.
Gimme’s mobility tools combine a wireless DEX (legacy vending data standard) with a familiar user interface to make keeping track of products simple. Clients can eliminate old hardware and replace handhelds, DEX cables and sync stations with one simple device and now use an iPad® to interface with everything. Stock-outs are reduced as vendors can see their entire machine planogram with high-resolution images for quick product identification giving them the ability to make changes quickly. This allows vending machine operators to maintain stocked machines with the right products that increase sales while keeping accounts and consumers happy.
Hewett shared, “We help vending companies with vending machines and help our customers make unattended retail a reality to compete against the likes of AmazonGo.”
“Some of the primary benefits are in efficiencies and time savings for vendors and their drivers through real time inventory management. Traditionally, drivers would load up a truck with everything someone may need on their route. Now they are able to pack a box with the specific snacks that appeal to that consumer. The software tells the drivers where to go and what to fill the machines with. The real struggle before was that vendors didn’t have the right tool set to access and use their own information to manage their business efficiently. We now offer a solution to solve this problem. ”
“Since our true deployment began, we already have 10,000 machines in the field using our solution. We have also identified a national need for our solution and have already expanded from the Southeast U.S. to now service operators as far out as California, New York and Florida.”
Hewett offered, “Perhaps the most significant and latest development is in our partnership with USA Technologies, Inc. that we just announced. Up until now, our vendors had to purchase a hardware device for every vending machine. That can be a significant investment for a large vendor. USA Technologies provides the credit card readers in vending machines. Through our partnership with them, our vendors will now be able to use our software with their hardware. This is a huge and exciting change for the company allowing more vending machine operators to deploy our inventory software by downloading the application at no cost and without any investment in new hardware.”
“We are really excited about what this partnership with USA Technologies. Operators can use their credit card readers instead of a Gimme Key and get the functionality of both now. Our relationship with a public company like USA Technologies helps us better service our customers as we expand in the unattended retail industry.”
Hewett concluded, “Our next goal is to increase our 10,000 machines online to 100,000. We want to connect every vending machine in America and have the technology solutions to do just that now.”
Cory Hewett has served as CEO for Gimme Vending, LLC since May 2014. He joined the founding group of NextGen Venture Partners in April 2016. Cory has an extensive background in engineering and received his formal education in the field of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Armstrong State University.