Last year was Seat Side Service's first appearance at the plate with its mobile concession software. While it didn’t hit a home run on its first swing, it didn't whiff at the pitch either.
The downtown Ann Arbor-based startup landed the Toledo Mud Hens
(the Detroit Tigers AAA minor league affiliate) as a customer last year. Seat Side Services technology enabled the baseball club to increase its concession sales by double digits, specifically its per-capita-crowd-expenditures by 44 percent.
"It's an astronomical number," says Steve Ventura, senior vice president of Seat Side Service
. "They (Mud Hens management) was more than pleased."
The 2-year-old startup created a mobile software platform that enabled spectators at athletic events to order food and beverages through their smartphone. They can pay online and the orders are delivered from a centralized kitchen, enabling vendors to only have to carry the food ordered. Seat Side Service’s first season with the Mud Hens allowed the company to show what it can do.
"It allowed us to open a lot of doors in other sports, not just baseball," Ventura says. The company is now speaking to teams in Major League Baseball, NCAA, NHL, and the NFL. Ventura expects to have a dozen teams signed up for Seat Side Service’s platform by the end of the year.
"I would think the number is going to be triple that by the end of 2016," Ventura says.
That success has allowed Seat Side Service to do some hiring. It has added two employees (Venture and a technical lead) over the last year, expanding its staff to six employees and 4-6 interns. It is also looking to hire another five people in software development, sales, and marketing.
Source: Barak Leibovitz, founder & CEO of Seat Side Service, and Steve Ventura, senior vice president of Seat Side Service
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.