The battle is on. It’s time to pick a winner.
We met one-on-one with the top 6 to hear their pitch for the top spot.
Tasha Da Silva, founder of VinStream, built a platform that is set to revolutionize the retail beverage industry’s membership management systems. We recently caught up with Tasha to learn more about her inspiration behind the idea, her experience as an entrepreneur and her plans to go the distance.
What problem were you trying to solve when you started VinStream?
When I would help manage Lightspeed point-of-sale systems, I kept hearing from wineries that they were unable to handle key features like compliance reporting and wine club fulfillments. So, we decided to bring tools to the wine industry that could help them process wine shipments, wine club memberships and recurring subscriptions.
Why should people be excited about using VinStream?
The biggest thing we’ve found is that it’s not just for wine. Any retail environment that has membership, subscriptions, or any service where they need to bill and ship to customers regularly can use VinStream.
Tell us about the success you’ve found already
We’re really utilizing our beta program to refine our product before doing a full launch. We’ve been getting great feedback from the companies that are currently using our beta version of the VinStream. We’re building out exciting new features that will be coming with VinStream 2.0 that help us move towards our vision for this great product.
What kind of expertise is your team bringing to VinStream?
I bring 15 years of experience working with small business retailers and all the customer workflows that come with those different verticals—selling products of wine, bikes, clothing, pet food, whatever it is. Myro, our Chief Technical Officer, brings technical expertise. He has a great way of being able to build roadmaps out of our feature requests
How do you see your company growing?
I see VinStream connecting to all kinds of markets. We love BC wine, and our initial focus is on the wine industry, but we can also help retail stores that also have subscription opportunities. There are a lot of different applications and verticals we want to explore.
What would the $155K investment mean for your company?
We would use that investment to help build out our team. We want our next version of VinStream to launch as quickly as we can. In order to do that, we need to round out our team—not just the technical but also sales and marketing.
What has this experience taught you about the entrepreneurial journey?
The OKGN Angel Summit has helped validate the path we’re going down. We’ve been approached by a lot of investors both within the Angel Summit that want to invest privately and others are outside the program that are just impressed with our progress. It’s really exciting to find out that others think our idea is as cool as I do! The summit has helped push partnerships from a “maybe” to a “let’s do this.”
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to participate next year?
We weren’t planning on joining the Angel Summit, we thought we were too early-stage for investment. The team at Accelerate Okanagan suggested that even if you’re too early, you still get to build relationships with a bunch of local investors. You get honest feedback about what you’re doing and find out if you’re investible or why you aren’t. Going through the program, we learned that we were a lot further along than I thought we were—look how far we’ve made it!
Follow along on our blog as we count down to the March 12th finale.
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