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Joseph Sheahan

SeedCon Fast-Pitch Entry: savvo digital sommelier solutions

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The Problem:

We've all been there.  Standing in the wine aisles not knowing what to get. We have no clue where to begin and there is no one ever there to help us!  This often leads to boring, cheap, and “safe” purchases.  No one wins.  The situation is an even bigger problem for the rest of the wine industry.  How is the "right" bottle supposed to communicate to you?  How are you to know that there is a wine you will absolutely love hidden somewhere in the sea of bottles?  The wine market is extremely fragmented and it is too expensive for most wine producers to educate the market about how great their juice is.  If only there was a better way to connect them with their new best customer...

Our Solution:

There is a way!  Meet savvo, the match.com for wine.  We provide in-store touchscreen recommendation kiosks that effortlessly guide consumers through the wine buying process, all done at the critical point of decision-making – the wine aisles.  By offering consumers multi-category search options, users are quickly matched with the best wine for them based on the store's inventory.  In a world of customization, it’s about time someone matched you with your wine match.  We turn uninspired wine drinkers into enthused wine lovers!

Market Size:

There is $30 BILLION worth of wine sold in the US every year and over half of it is sold in grocery stores.  Need I say more?  Ok, I will.  Wine consumption is still on the rise in the US, has been for years.  In fact, we recently became the largest wine consuming country in the world.  But has our knowledge kept pace?  Has wine gotten easier for us?  Or is it more cluttered and confusing now than ever?  The number of wine producers has grown four-fold in the last decade alone.  Basically, it's a big problem in a huge industry!

Team:

We have assembled a passionate and dedicated team to drive this venture forward.  We have the open minds, determination, and enthusiasm to get it done.  Dominic Blank is the sales guy, Tim Benham is the tech guy, and I do my best to represent the wine guy.  We have been working on the venture for a few months now and have seen some great progress, including making it into the final four of the Chicago Lean Startup Challenge.

Value Propositions:

The consumer: find your wine match quickly and easily while expanding your wine horizons and knowledge base.  And all this can be done on the same trip you picked up a dozen eggs.

The retailer: sell more wine, better priced wine, and increase basket size with complementary goods all while providing the customer service desired (without having to hire expensive and snooty wine experts)!

The wine producer: get matched with your new best customer in a targeted and affordable manner while getting access to invaluable consumer behavior data.  Nuff said?

About SeedCon:

Hosted by the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital student group and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, SeedCon brings together leaders and innovators from the entrepreneurship and venture capital world to explore the most exciting and disruptive trends in the industry. For more information, visit www.SeedCon.com.

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