Brad Pommen is the President & CEO of SMRT1 Technologies in Nelson, BC. SMRT1 specializes in interactive smart dispensing solutions for healthcare products and medical supplies.
The 2023 OKGN Angel Summit began on January 10 with a group of over 45+ applicants hoping to take home the $225k investment fund. Over the past 2 months, this year’s angel investors have narrowed it down to the final 6 companies. These courageous founders have demonstrated their commitment to learning the capital raising process, and building valuable connections along the way. With the culmination of their hard work on the horizon, we caught up with each of the finalists to learn more about their backgrounds, their businesses, and the ambitious goals they hope to achieve if they receive the investment.
What makes you and your team the best ones to build this business?
SMRT1 has been focused on building better software for interactive smart vending machines since day 1. We have spent 6 years researching and developing hardware, software, and new technologies to disrupt the traditionally snack focused industry. Our team has over 100 years of programming experience, and is led by seasoned professionals. Now with the product well-defined and in-demand, we are ready to build out our executive, sales, and marketing teams, along with focusing on our scale up strategy.
Why should investors be interested in your company?
It’s all about timing and SMRT1 is poised for rapid growth. Recent epidemics and the COVID pandemic have highlighted valuable data and a growing need for the supplies offered through our interactive dispensing system. Canada and the US have committed over $110B to some of these issues, and we are the first to market a fully turnkey product with a built-in sales funnel.
Why should clients be excited about your business?
SMRT1 takes the simplicity of traditional vending machine hardware and adds the advanced technology platform to turn the experience into smart vending. Not only do we offer an annual SaaS model, but we also offer advanced upsell features through our cloud based software, think “Shopify in a box.” Our product offers real-time data including inventory, and reporting is available on demand for clients to access anytime from any device.
What do you feel has contributed most to you reaching the Top 6?
It has taken us nearly 6 years to build the product, customer pipeline, and market strategies. Bootstrapping our business has ensured absolute product focus, resource efficiency, and confidence in disruption in an entire industry. The last 3 years have highlighted the value of our products inside and outside the pandemic. When we last competed in a pitch competition, we took all the feedback we received very seriously and are pleased to say we have hit the ground running.
What is one key learning you are taking away from the Summit experience?
Market readiness and scalable revenue funnels are essential for the success of any venture. We understand that our original concepts and assumptions were correct, but incredible amounts of both time and effort were required to build a sustainable revenue path forward. We are now at the stage of growth that will reward investors much quicker with much less risk.
“Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your idea, vision, and spirit endure through your own business.”