In anticipation of the final round of the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 7th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.
Mathew Steininger ’22, Founder & CEO
DC: Tell us about your startup.
MS: The latest limited-edition Jordan shoe is released, and thousands of sneakerheads around the world run into the same dreaded message: sold out. They were either minutes too slow, or they were unaware this release was happening at all. Then, in a few hours, the sneaker is restocked, but for the final time, it very quickly becomes sold out again. Many sneakerheads run into this problem with every limited release.
crepkitchen solves this problem by making sure users don’t miss out on these releases. We offer an online subscription service that instantly notifies users of product restocks and other essential information for limited edition sneakers and clothing releases before they sell out. This guarantees that all of our customers are best prepared to succeed during any limited edition releases.
DC: Have there been some key decisions or milestones along the way that have led you from an idea to now pitching for $15K?
MS: Initially, crepkitchen just started as an idea to automatically message some friends and myself if a certain item we wanted to purchase restocked. We then began developing and expanding our software in order to monitor many sites at once. After much testing and success, we started selling access to our proprietary software that allowed people to purchase more limited edition items than they would have before. Our customers have, on average, made their money back from our subscription fee as a result of reselling some of these rare items. The success and rapid growth of our company has been our biggest milestone, and as a result, in just under 10 months of our founding we have done over $85,000 in sales.
We are now pitching for the $15,000 because in order to become a global brand, known for helping people purchase on releases, we must continue to add features more accessible to all the sneakerheads of the world.
DC: What have you learned from the semifinals that will help you better prepare for Finals?
MS: The most important takeaway we learned from the semifinals, with the help from our dedicated mentor and the Dingman Center staff, has been expanding our target market. Currently, our customers tend to be those who purchase sneakers and clothing primarily for their resell potential. However, in the future we plan to create features to allow more casual sneakerheads to utilize our product which would allow them to purchase sneakers directly upon release instead of paying the 2-10 times resell premium from secondary-markets. There has been no service that has tried to reach the more casual demographic, and crepkitchen plans to do so.
DC: What has your startup been working on since Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals?
MS: Since the semifinals, our primary goal has been the development of our mobile application. This will allow more customers to access our product’s features in one convenient and simple to use platform. Potentially, this will draw in more casual sneakerheads that never can seem to successfully purchase limited edition items before they are sold out for good.
DC: What are some goals you are looking to reach before Finals?
MS: Before the finals, we plan on releasing, or at the very least, finish beta testing for our mobile app on IOS. This is a potential market in our industry that currently no other company has entered yet.
DC: If you win Pitch Dingman Competition, what will you do with the $15,000?
MS: We plan on becoming the one-stop shop for all things limited release. The $15,000 will greatly help us achieve that goal in the long run. Three-quarters of the money will go into the development and further optimization of our proprietary software and mobile applications, and the other quarter will be spent on marketing and creating a global brand known for helping customers succeed in purchasing limited edition items.