McKeever Conwell is no stranger to chasing his dreams out of town.
The Given.to founder built that company with help from a stint at a San Francisco accelerator. His next endeavor will keep him closer to home.
Conwell is selling the social gift-giving platform Given as he pursues his new startup, RedBerrry. The shopping app company was accepted into DreamIt Access, an accelerator at DreamIt’s Philadelphia office established to help minority-owned businesses grow and succeed. Conwell starts the three-month accelerator program on Sept. 9.
“I’ll be able to come home now and then on the weekends,” Conwell said. “I appreciate the fact that it’s close to home, but the location doesn’t really play a factor in us going to DreamIt.”
Conwell says he sees the RedBerrry as an e-commerce version of social sites like Instagram. Right now, he said, mobile shopping is often a hit or miss experience.
“You hope that the website is mobile-friendly, then you have to search for the item you’re looking for,” he said. “I just figured there had to be a better way to do it, so that was the way to do it.”
Conwell isn’t the first to see the benefit of making shopping more accessible. In May, Amazon started allowing users to add items to their cart by replying to tweets that link to products on Amazon using the hashtag #AmazonCart.
“Given was a registry site and it had a social aspect … so I knew a little about the space before I got started,” Conwell said. “I know that social commerce is going to happen, [but] there hasn’t been anybody that figured it out really well.”
The RedBerrry app aims to ease mobile shopping by displaying pictures of items from a vendor. A user can select an item and buy it in just a couple of taps. The service will also work with top sales platforms like Shopify.
The app has been in development since April, Conwell said.
Conwell said he’s planning to have the mobile app ready to show to visitors (including potential investors) at the Dec. 3 demo day, with long-term plans for a web-based platform as well.
“Getting funding is not the goal, creating a sustainable company is the goal,” Conwell said.
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