A few weeks ago you read about the rise of Silicon Alley, and how the Hive at 55 is no stranger to the NYC startup community. There are a handful of companies working out of our space in Lower Manhattan, mostly in the media, technology, and nonprofit industries. The latest startup to call the Hive home is a Web-based point of sale system called ShopKeep.com. They moved in on April 1st and, as you’ll see, it looks like they are a great match for the Hive.
Jason Richelson, Founder of ShopKeep.com, has really come full circle. More than ten years ago he left his desk job atPrice Waterhouseto become a co-founder of an Internet startup called InternetCash. His company was based in Lower Manhattan at 90 William Street and he learned a lot about starting a business — as well as the unique Downtown neighborhood.
When the dot-com boom and InternetCash went bust, Jason moved on to new ventures. Living in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with an intimate knowledge of Lower Manhattan, he realized both neighborhoods desperately needed a great wine store. So Jason said goodbye to his desk job and dot-com days and opened a few retail stores with Amy Bennett –- The Greene Grape Wine Stores in Fort Greene, Brooklyn in 2004 and 55 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan in 2005, and the Greene Grape Provisions Gourmet Market a few years later. During his six years in retail, Jason has learned the trades of store owner, business manager, brand maker, and problem-solver. It sounds to me that these are all good skills to have if you want to create a new startup company!
And sure enough, that’s what happened in 2008 while vacationing in a remote place. Jason got a call from both wine stores at nearly the same time: the server was down! Realizing he couldn’t be there to fix it and the ridiculous hourly expense to hire someone who could, an idea came to mind. The wine stores needed a point-of-sale system that was based on the Web and immune to these sorts of problems. By the end of the vacation, Jason learned no such system existed, and ShopKeep.com was born.
Let me try to keep this simple, since I don’t know too much about a “cloud based point-of-sale system.” In a nutshell, ShopKeep.com is an Internet-based “register” and “back office” that allows you to ring up sales and manage inventory in a quick and easy manner. The system is accessible to store owners and managers; if you can use the Internet, you can use ShopKeep.com!
While ShopKeep.com has not officially launched, they are already running live in select stores across the country. If you own a business and are interested in this service, you can sign up for a free demonstration on their Web site. They will launch in May, and in the meantime everyone at the Hive is glad to have Jason and his new hire Cameron share in the fun and professional community at the Hive at 55. Needless to say, Jason has come full circle: ten years later, and he’s starting yet another dot-com.