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If you don’t know now, I have a passion for startups. I love everything that comes from having a startup and knowing the teams that work for them. Inspiration comes to me every day by listening to and meeting the people behind these innovative ideas. I particularly like to hear about companies that master the practical application. When a team of people come together to create something priceless and easy to understand, it assures me that the future of the startup ecosystem is in good hands. Being present to witness and experience it is certainly an advantage for my work as CEO of AlleyNYC.
Now it can be difficult. There is never a shortage of competition, but sometimes there is a startup that I meet that stands out among everyone. We live in a time when aesthetics are crucial, honestly more than they should be. But the beauty for me is that it may not be the “sexiest” idea, but it’s practical. After all, not everyone can become Facebook. In the world of startups, there is only a small percentage of unicorns for a thousand companies that start up. Wanting to become a unicorn can be seen as parallel to winning the lottery. The odds are against you. So, when a startup arrives more concerned with practicality and how the user / client will adapt to its product, it excites me.
Now let me tell a story that illustrates a startup like the one I mentioned above. How many of you own a car? Or have you been to a dealership where you know the seller is clearly selling you the car you want? Well, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine was at a dealership looking to buy a car. As you can imagine, the direction of the conversation with the seller became unfavorable in just a few minutes. My friend called the seller about the price of the sticker.
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Now, looking to resolve the dispute, I did what every quasi-geek would do and picked up my phone to go to Google. I was brought to an application called DealSure. I downloaded it to my phone, took a photo of the price of the car sticker and downloaded it. Within minutes, I received a full report on the price of the car. I showed it to my friend and we decided to go to another dealer to buy the same car.
I was so impressed with the application and its functionality that I decided to find out who created it and contact them. Well, ironically, it turns out that the managing partner is an old friend of mine with whom I have had no contact for years. Josh Opatka was a friend I made when I lived in Miami. Josh thankfully introduced me to the CEO and founder of DealSure, Andrew Gellert, so that I could learn more about what DealSure is doing and what motivates it to build the business.
Q: What is DealSure?
A: DealSure is having someone by your side to help you negotiate the best deal on a new car that you test at a dealership. By simply using the mobile app, you can take a photo of the sticker price on any car you want a quote on. Simply put, DealSure ensures that you don’t get fired by a dealer whose main concern is profitability.
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Q: How did you find the concept?
A: We found the concept of DealSure after realizing the frustrations of car buyers looking to rent in the current market. With confusing sales tactics and high-pressure salespeople, a trip to the dealership can be an overwhelming and unwanted experience. You have to defend yourself, but how do you really know if you’ve made a deal or not? With DealSure, they make sure you get a deal. A DealSure consultant uses all of the manufacturer’s incentives and discounts as well as current programs to calculate a real-time quote on the specific vehicle you have submitted. If no one buys a used car without consulting Carfax, why would you rent a new car without DealSure?
Q: What is the size of the market?
A: There are 18,000 franchised car dealers in the United States. Each dealer sells between 150 and 400 cars per month. The average consumer will test three to five different models before deciding on the brand. But, this same consumer will test three to five additional cars of this particular brand to decide on the colors and options he wants.
You see, the practicality in itself is beautiful. The app didn’t have to be a glamorous idea with an overly complicated user experience, but it did come in handy. And at the end of the day, our goal as entrepreneurs should be to improve the lives of our customers, users and the community. Let this be food for thought: do you build what you build to impress or improve?
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