Bevz Origin Story: From Basketball Coach to Co-Founder
Even though my title says “Co-Founder” I don’t like to take credit for starting Bevz – that goes to my Co-Founder Vic. Here’s the Bevz origin story and how I became the co-founder.
The Earliest Days
In early 2019, my co-founder Vic raised a little money and built an e-commerce platform designed to make it easy for convenience stores to start doing on-demand deliveries, while giving consumers a seamless way to order from their local stores – a two-sided marketplace that was hyper-focused on the convenience store side.
The MVP launched in January 2020, which is when Vic and I joined forces.
An Unlikely, Yet Perfect Duo
I've known Vic since I was six years old. He was my neighbor, family friend, and basketball coach. We have a long history of working together and winning together.
Many years ago, we even won the LA City Basketball Championships – as a 5’7’’ starting shooting guard, it was not easy beating bigger, stronger teams, but we always found a way to outwork and outplay our competitors. We knew we could take this work ethic and collaboration from basketball to business.
When he came to me with the opportunity, I was working as the Head of Employee Communications & Engagement at a multi-billion dollar tech company called Citrix, and I just started my MBA program at UCLA Anderson…so I had a lot of free time (not really).
But, it was a huge opportunity, and I knew that together we could transform the snack and drink industry through the seemingly small, yet powerful group of convenience stores across the nation.
So, I jumped ship, left hundreds of thousands of dollars in Citrix equity and salary on the table, and went all in at Bevz.
After launching in January 2020, we got to see how our convenience stores interacted with our platform and other delivery apps. We also saw how the pandemic changed the thoughts and behaviors of convenience store owners, and we realized we had to pivot.
The problem was the same – convenience stores were losing billions of dollars and needed help embracing technology and e-commerce – but our solution needed to do a lot more. I led the evolution from a two-sided marketplace into a full-service SaaS platform for convenience stores, and took over as CEO.
Filling a HUGE Gap
Vic and I covered a lot of bases with our complementary skillsets, but we needed a strong, experienced Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
We started with our friend Jim Goodman, an advisor at the accelerator we were in, and someone who had already helped us significantly over the past year. After talking to several candidates, we realized the right person was standing right in front of us.
Jim was the right fit from both a skill and cultural standpoint. He had the exact experience we were looking for, spending decades working on API integrations and data normalization, and building strong technology teams. He was a founding member of Ticketmaster Online, had experience at Disney and Intel, and he loved the alcohol market – prior to becoming a mentor at our accelerator, he even founded and exited a national wine platform.
We were able to recruit him onto our team and he’s been our CTO ever since. Over the last year, he helped build a strong technology team based out the Philippines and even recruited two of his former superstar employees – Kevin and Renan – to join Bevz. We now have a four-person development team that Jim oversees.
We have an experienced, superstar team that is going to transform the snack and drink industry.
If you’re interested in joining us and jumping on this rocket ship – as an employee, investor, or advisor – let me know!