Former Operator Launches Remote Monitoring Device For Vending Machines

Dec. 11, 2014

Cory Hewett considers himself a serial entrepreneur. When he was in high school, he owned vending machines and ran route. And in 2012 when he transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA, he wanted a way to remotely monitor his machines. “I hired a route driver to fill them for me, but I got this idea that it would be nice to check up on them via my smartphone,” said Hewett. “And there weren’t a lot of options for the small vend operator.” Hewett eventually sold his machines, but the idea to monitor machines quickly, simply and affordably followed him throughout his studies until last May when he put that idea to action.

Hewett— now a senior at Georgia Tech—and a group of four students created the vending technology startup company called Gimme. “We did over two hundred industry interviews with operators, route drivers and manufacturers,” said Hewett. “We wanted to find out who was in the industry, what were industry needs and what are companies doing to actively fulfill those needs.” And the team came up with Gimme, a hardware and software combination.

The Gimme device is a BLE dongle that plugs into the DEX board. Route drivers can use the Gimme app to view a picklist for a stop, download a DEX file, scan a cash bag and enter inventory information. It’s in its development stage right now and will begin its pilot program in February. “But we do plan to launch in fall 2015,” said Hewett. Specifically, the company is targeting small and medium size vend operators with 100 to 1,000 machines and 1,000 to 10,000 machines, respectively. 

For now, Hewett will continue to build industry relationships and get his product ready for national roll out. In October Hewett and other Gimme entrepreneurs were included as panelists at the Automatic Merchandising Association of Florida’s Annual Meeting and earlier in December Hewett served as a volunteer at NAMA’s Tech Talks in Atlanta, GA.

“We’re about simplicity,” said Hewett. “Your driver will understand how to use it as soon as they open the app. Nobody has put that much emphasis on the route driver when they built their tools.” The Gimme team plans to attend the NAMA OneShow 2015 and exhibit in 2016.