Several times on this blog, we’ve talked about how everything rarely goes to plan and sometimes the road to success is circuitous and fraught with missteps. Along those lines, I thought you’d enjoy this guest post about the new ecommerce app Vendevor and how it only came to be because of a group of students failed spectacularly at their first attempt at a company. Enjoy and please share your happy accidents that lead you to where you are today below!
This is a story of unlikely beginnings leading to a game-changing company in the small business market. Until now, ecommerce has been complicated, frustrating, and can be time and cost intensive to set up…. So we recently launched a platform that takes this long, convoluted process, and turns it into a 15-minute task that can be completed from your smart phone. Vendevor allows you to sell products from your existing website, blog, and Facebook fan page, and immediately process credit cards through our in-house payment processing system. But before our team set out to make ecommerce accessible to every single small business in America, our team of bachelors was in – believe it or not – the wedding business.
It all started at Baylor University when Vendevor’s founders, a group of three hungry entrepreneurs, missed the cuts for JP Morgan and other jobs our parents probably wished we had, and turned to entrepreneurship to embrace the idea that inventing a job is better than finding a job. We learned that we had a ton of free time to start businesses – it just occurred between the hours of 10pm and 6am. So while we were skipping class to rest up for the long nights ahead, we were dreaming of how to make money on the internet (aside from gambling and non-Christian things, this was the only industry that was just as active during our office hours in the middle of the night). So, in our infinite wisdom and entrepreneurial experience, we landed on lead generation for the wedding industry.
So on the weekends while our friends were throwing back Keystone on the porch, our team was traveling across Texas to wedding conventions, trying to get wedding vendors to sign up for our service.
To save you the time, we didn’t know anything about weddings. The only thing inspiring us to report for duty on our quickly sinking ship was our mouth-watering (and naively optimistic) financial projections. Convinced we could turn the ship around but needing the funding to do so, we turned to internet consulting to fuel the marketing budget for our dying wedding business.
As we consulted for different businesses in the DFW area, a common task assigned by our clients was to set up ecommerce on their existing website… but even in our tech-savvyness we realized that this was a difficult task. We didn’t find a viable solution that we could rely on. There were just too many loose ends to tie together to start selling online, and it was way more complicated that it needed to be.
By the time we were graduating college, we figured that it would only hurt our chances of getting married if we were actually in the wedding business, and so it was time for a switch. Knowing that our team wanted to continue working together at all costs, we decided to go build the ecommerce solution that we were unable to find in our time of need as internet consultants.
So, we built Vendevor in six months, and have since won Baylor’s New Venture Competition, and are closing funding with the Baylor Angel Network. Despite our embarrassing days of running into friends and family at wedding conventions with no fiancé on our arm, we’ve been able to fulfill our more meaningful passion of helping small businesses take advantage of the internet space, and increase their business, because the rising tide really does lift all boats.
So what’s next for us? Growing Vendevor and then having a lot of inside jokes and memories when the time actually comes for each of us to get married.
Check out our 60 second video at Vendevor.com.