June 20, 2011
Selfey was born out of the New York Startup weekend and lead by a 15 year-old-kid. We often hear about programming wiz kids who are revolutionizing the world, but not often do we hear of teenage high school boys with incredible business acumen. Meet Jack Haufman. Jack pitched a very simple, very compelling idea:
People hate to wait in long lines. People are willing to give up their spot at the front of a line for the right price. Let’s connect them.
I was inspired to join his team, and, along with a group of business people and a technologist, we were led by Jack’s enthusiasm and incredible understanding of what it takes to get pitch-ready in 54 hours.
We went out on the streets of New York City and surveyed the market. We got a very positive response and even made a transaction happen at the Shake Shack line. A guy at the front of the line happily gave up his spot to a woman who paid him $5 so she could get her burger and fries that much quicker.
A day later, Jack had recruited a designer to help us with the logo and visual prototype. By the time Sunday came, we were ready to rock our pitch. We had market validation and a visual prototype, and the response from the judges was super positive. We integrated the payment process to PayPal and won $500 for having the best use of PayPal X. Jack’s response, “Let’s put the $500 to work in our functional prototype”.
As much as I am excited to skip lines at all New York City events, or get paid to give up my spot at the front of the line, I am more excited to work with Jack this summer.
The world is really changing and this change is being led by teenage kids who want to live in a better world.
Julissa Arce is wall street gal turned entrepreneur. She is passionate about pursuing one’s dreams, traveling and Texas College Football. You can follow her @Julissaarce
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