SaaS Founder Interview with Derek Pacqué, Founder of Chexology
Tony Zayas 0:06
Hey everybody, welcome. It’s Tony Zayas back for another episode of the tech founders show where we get to hear from fascinating people who are on the cutting edge of technology doing amazing things in their businesses. And today, I’m going to be bringing on Derek Pacqué. He’s the founder and CEO of CHEXOLOGY, and CHEXOLOGY is building modern check in and check out experiences you could trust. And he’s been on SharkTank and has a lot of exciting stuff to share with us. So let me bring him here. So hey, Derek, how you doing?
Derek Pacqué 0:40
Good, Tony. Thanks for having me.
Tony Zayas 0:41
Yeah, for sure. excited to have you. Tell us a bit about technology just how’s the concept?
Derek Pacqué 0:50
Ah Yes. So prior to us coming around in situations like code checking bag checking valet. Guests would get claimed tickets, when they checked items, a piece of paper, they’re expected to hold on to that that was literally the trade for your code or your car, if you lost that needle in a haystack to obad situations came up. So technology’s mission is to eliminate that paper claim ticket. And we’re looking to replace it with an experience that is fast trusted, that will allow people that provide these transactions to grow and expand the space.
Tony Zayas 1:29
Yeah, that’s really cool. And I think, makes a lot of sense, right? Whenever I have to check something and I get that little ticket, I’m always like, I better not lose this thing. And there is that level of concern. But I would love to hear where what the origin is like, were you walking around an airport with like, a briefcase full of cash? And you’re like, how do I prevent this, you know, this little claim track being responsible for this thing? Like, how did it come to fruition? What was the story behind all of that?
Derek Pacqué 2:01
Yeah, so when I was in college, I went to a dance bar, was the person that brought my coat, hid it somewhere, someone found it, they took it. And it started as simple as you know, why didn’t this bar have a coat check? Yeah, if they had it, you know, this probably wouldn’t have happened. So, because I was in the business school, I started a cash tech business, it was kind of part of the program. I was in the entrepreneurship program. And the pain point that I identified to solve was that these bars didn’t have code checks. So in the process of building that business, trying to make it successful, I realized that paper was just not a good way to operate this type of service at the level I wanted to provide.
Tony Zayas 2:50
And in so I had the experience makes a ton of sense. When did you realize that from you know, that moment where your your, was your jacket was stolen? Right? So you lose your jacket? And you realize the process behind that? You know, there’s nothing really that reliable or secure? When did you realize that there was a viable business opportunity? Now, obviously, people have initial ideas, and then they go on, they look at the landscape, and they understand that a while there’s a bunch of solutions out there, but when did you realize that that was a viable opportunity for you to pursue?
Derek Pacqué 3:27
The code checking service business or building an application to replace the piece of paper?
Tony Zayas 3:33
Because both i because then it started as the code checking service. Yeah. So you’re about that, and then even the evolution into you know, the, it’s the technology and kind of what it is today. Yeah,
Derek Pacqué 3:47
so that’s actually a good question. Um, when I first kind of identified that, oh, there’s a potential opportunity to make money checking coat at the bars, one of my biggest things was, well, will people use it? Was this just a me problem? Will people actually pay to check their coats in Bloomington, Indiana? Would it be profitable? So those are questions that were kind of lingering. And it started the first time was just asking friends, right? Hey, if you go to the bars, you either freeze in line or you bring your code and stash it. If there was a code check for two three bucks, would you check your coat? And I was getting a lot of Yes. Not only a lot of yeses, but like, Oh, that’s a great idea. So that started it, but everyone could just say yes, would they actually use it was sort of kind of on my mind that I don’t know. Then when I kind of brought it up to the professors as as part of my project. The professors were very excited about it too, and they were willing to help okay, we need to open up an LLC. So then pressure started coming from not just my friends started but then the professor’s on and then sort of the final trigger was someone’s like you got to go talk to the bars see if they are willing to let you open it and I just went in on this Sunday, looked over at one of the bar owners that was just sitting there at the bar, I said, why don’t you provide a coat check? And he looked at me. He was like, hmm, it’s a good idea. And I was like, if you pull in right there, I think we can make some money. And he goes, can you start Thursday? So that was sort of the final pressure that’s like, Oh, this is happening. Yeah, I got I got, I got to do this. So it was a lot of pressure coming from different people, which ultimately got me to pull the trigger and start to do. So that was for the coat check service business. As far as building an app to replace the paper that was solving my own problems from being a coat check service provider, I just was week in week out dealing with claims, leftover codes, not, you know, not knowing where to pick them up long lines, just this paper was not doing a good job allowing me to provide a high quality service. So when I typed in coat check system in Google, nothing came up. So it kind of was if I want to scale this business, grow it outside of Bloomington. I think we’re gonna need a system to really solve this problem.
Tony Zayas 6:08
Very cool. What’s the timeline from, you know, the idea to the inception of code chec into the app?
Derek Pacqué 6:18
Yeah, so 2010, October 2010, was when I launched the Who’s your coat check. Okay, in Bloomington, Indiana. The business plan I wrote second semester. So after winter break 2011 First Quarter was a business plan called coatchecks, C O A T C H E X. And it was how I was going to expand the future coatchex to multiple cities. Out of that 70 page business plan. There was one paragraph about the new system, which ended up becoming pretty much the focal point of coatchex, which, in 2011, we built the MVP, we got it on Shark Tank. And then after that exposure, it really accelerated the focus to the system and the technology is the most valuable thing around what you’re doing. If you enable other service providers, and in house providers to do it, well, there’s a big opportunity to scale there.
Tony Zayas 7:15
That’s awesome. What was the Shark Tank experience like?
Derek Pacqué 7:19
It’s a It’s definitely surreal on what you see on TV compared to what happens in real life is very different. So it’s pretty nerve wracking. Going into the Shark Tank, but once you’re in there, and you kind of get through the little elevator pitch, it’s it’s kind of fun, you know, there, you can tell it’s a reality TV show. Like they’re, they’re all playing characters, but it definitely kind of created a really cool story. So definitely very helpful for the business. And as far as just, you know, people knowing that we’re solving this problem, and we’re the ones doing it, it really helped kind of get our business to the next level.
Tony Zayas 7:56
I would just be curious, was there like, one, at least, you know, maybe one takeaway, that, I mean, like, being on Shark Tank, like the sharks feedback, perhaps? Maybe, like realization about your business? Or, you know, what, what any takeaway from that experience? Because obviously, it’s a cool experience, it’s great exposure, but was there any, like business insight he pulled from that was like, something that kind of opened your eyes a little bit?
Derek Pacqué 8:23
Yeah, I think that the best advice I got was, you know, go out and validate the technology. Um, you know, build, as you’re iterating, and building the tech, go prove it out, go make sure that’s what customers want. You know, beforehand, you know, when I was 21 years old, it was kind of in my head, a waterfall model, build it all, release it, roll it out. And they kind of really pushed, like, make this iterative, agile development, and that will really help you identify what is needed in a broader market. So that was some good advice on and then I think the the next thing was on that, you know, think further than just coat check. Right? We’d already started thinking about other verticals where claim tickets, you know, created problems. But I think what came out of that was like, if you’re looking to really grow a scalable business, seasonality is not fun. So it kind of helped hone in and then validated our need to kind of think through other products as well.
Tony Zayas 9:30
So I’m curious, what are some of the other verticals like what are you guys where you guys focus nowadays, since you’ve grown?
Derek Pacqué 9:39
Yeah, so coat checks kind of was our first valid product and that kind of took us through about 2013 was really to prove it out for what we knew. Along the way, we actually had the sale a silent disco company, it was called Quiet events. And they reached out to me and said that they were currently grabbing people’s ID when they were lent silent disco headphones and organizing them sequentially by last name. And it was just a long process, they were taking a lot of liability. And they were actually giving out claim tickets to find people’s IDs. And they weren’t able to scale their business as far as size of events, they could kind of give out 300 headphones Max. But these these offers, like, I want to do a 6000 person party on the beach. So it was actually an inbound that was like your system will work perfectly for this for not just checking in items, but lending them out and then getting them returned back to us. So it kind of inverted the processes. It’s not just businesses that store things, but businesses that lend things out, this product can work for both situations. So we started building that and we realized, well, coat checks, a name for a company doesn’t really work for silent disco, headphone companies. So we we created a company called CHEXOLOGY, which brought in coat checks, and kind of broaden the use of the software to any item being checked in and out. And so we started there. And then during COVID, we actually, with all events shutting down, right? No nightclubs, concert halls, museums, no one was checking coats, we took that opportunity to actually build a product for the hotels for luggage storage. We knew that getting hospitality back up and running and people traveling again and going to hotels would be sort of a first phase before big, organized, packed events would really take off. So now we also have a bell desk product for luggage storage and hotels.
Tony Zayas 11:36
Very cool. So what is the what is it, so you’re the one that founded it? Were you solo when you launched?
Derek Pacqué 11:46
Yeah, it was the Who’s your coat check was was just me with some of my college friends working the coat check. And it kind of went from there?
Tony Zayas 11:54
No, that’s cool. I would love to hear a bit about I know you mentioned, you know, your business school. And it sounds like he talked to some of your professors and had, you know, mentors, perhaps we’d like to talk in the show a lot, you know, hearing the importance of mentors and like a network to talk to other people bounce ideas, you know, people who’ve been there. So how, you know, how do you stay? Like, who do you rely on? Do you have a network of people a forum, a mastermind? Do you have mentors, kind of what does that support look like? And how has it maybe changed over the years?
Derek Pacqué 12:29
Yea., once so once I moved to New York, I really started to kind of grow my network of not just startup co founders, other people that are in the same situation as me. So in Indianapolis, I was very well connected with others who were kind of getting their businesses off the ground. And whether they were in similar stage or further stage, I always thought those conversations were the best by learning from their war stories, sharing war stories, you know, figuring out the doing steps versus the strategic thinking steps, and how do you kind of manage long term and short term needs. So really working with other founders and meeting up with them on a regular basis is super helpful. When I got to New York, I started to grow my advisor network on and so and eventually investor network as well. People that have really gotten it and scale businesses and have different kind of viewpoints. So you know, one of my biggest mentor, his name is Kumar squilla. And he actually comes from an operational finance real estate background. And anytime I feel like, I’m in like this short term, oh, my god, things are not going to work out. He helps me think very long term. He goes, he always uses analogies about building a massive sky riser, right, and all the different pieces and how long it takes. But if everything comes together, you know, you got a great product. So he keeps helping me get out of the weeds of like, Oh, COVID, it’s the end of our business. He’s like, No, long term, what can we do? How can we pivot? So having people that would just, it doesn’t have to be necessarily in the same space, but people that have done it before. He’s more of an operational finance mind. And I’m more of a sales marketing, kind of extroverted mind. So finding people that also have ever diverse traits compared to yours is also super, super helpful as what I’ve
Tony Zayas 14:25
learned. That’s great. What does your team look like today? Since you guys have been around for a bit?
Derek Pacqué 14:32
Yeah, so we have a couple of different big departments, our engineering team. We have an engineering team that we acquired a consultancy out of Indianapolis, and they became our in house engineering team they called fretless. We then hired a product manager and designer to support that engineering team. We have an operations team here in New York, and then sales in March. has now kind of remote sort of all over the country? We haven’t, and then just, you know, back office accounting, as well.
Tony Zayas 15:10
Wow. That’s cool. So do you have a sense do you come from? Do you have a technical background? Like, are you a technical founder? Or is that something that part of that sounds like you acquired that team of engineers, I would love to hear about how you, you know, brought the technology piece to life.
Derek Pacqué 15:30
Yeah, I definitely am not an engineer. So my background was in business, I’ve always been very entrepreneurial, as far as a mindset. But I definitely had to, over the years, learn to be technical, to, you know, to be able to evaluate and bring in a team of technical people. But it’s definitely been a big weakness. And it’s taken me a long time to gain those skills in that understanding, to earn trust from from engineering teams. So that was something that because I didn’t have a technical co founder, took a while to kind of develop that and bring that team in house. That was one thing I wish earlier on, I had found a more technical co founder. But I but I didn’t. So took a while to really get that team kind of involved and fit into the culture of sort of more of a business mindset, sales marketing mindset.
Tony Zayas 16:28
Yeah. What any lessons learned, just I know, the landscape, especially now it`s really hard to find good developers and engineers and people that you can rely on. So we hear that a lot for founders that are trying to scale up a team. Do you have any, any suggestions or ideas on how to go about doing that?
Derek Pacqué 16:52
Yeah, you start with one person you can really trust, right, who is well respected, respected, has a great history on and is able to lead a team. So I was fortunate in finding a match in our head of engineering Davy, who was, you know, the co founder of fretless. So he that was what he was doing was building an engineering shop. So I got lucky in, you know, finding someone that I trust, who is able to create that culture, build that team, recruit that team and onboard them, I know that everyone he brings in is well vetted, and he’s making much better bets than I ever could with bringing on new team members. So finding that one person is sort of the starting point, and just letting them ride, letting them do their thing.
Tony Zayas 17:42
That’s cool. Did you have any challenges with doing just that? On an area, kind of be that expert, and let them do their thing, a lot of founders, especially when they start out, you know, they are the business and then they grow over time. But they’re still kind of in control everywhere. But at a certain point, if you want to scale the business, you have to put people in place that could lead to different areas and let them do their thing. You might be involved a little bit more here than there, but you need to let leaders lead. Did you ever have challenge with that? Was that a learning, you know, kind of growth process for you? Or what did that look like for you?
Derek Pacqué 18:23
100% it’s, yeah, I’m sure. Everyone who’s just so involved in is so passionate, when they start a business and is required to wear all the hats on, you know, it’s sometimes hard to notice, like, this highlight can actually you’re better with this hat on, right, it’s, uh, you know, you do this, and what’s the next hat that I actually need to wear that’s more important than the hats we had before. It’s a very hard process that you have to get out of the day to day and when you’re grinding that’s very difficult to do so is something that has come with time learning how to get out of it, but it’s not easy. And still today, I see myself in the weeds in areas where I you know, I’m like, I wish I could just learn faster to get out of the weeds learn fast to get out of the weeds and I think it’s an ever evolving process. That yeah, it’s very difficult.
Tony Zayas 19:15
So what would you say you know, what is your how has your role as founder, being, you know, being your business kind of being a one man concept, turning it into a business, growing it over time spinning out different iteration software, so on and so forth? How is your role evolved? I’m sure it’s been pretty drastic, but what did it look like then versus how it is today and evolution like?
Derek Pacqué 19:43
Yeah, it’s it’s less day to day doing have a diverse set of tasks. It’s more direction giving storytelling, sharing, vision, presenting and putting connecting dots together to show how things are possible and achievable. and getting buy in. And it’s not just from internal stakeholders like the team, but big clients and prospects and investors, right? It’s it’s showcasing that, you know, we have a track record, here’s a long term vision and plan, and it’s achievable with this team. You know, whether it’s a big sale, a capital raise, or recruiting a top talent, I have found that, you know, the work I’m doing is is more involved with a longer cycle type achievements as opposed to shorter day to day achievements?
Tony Zayas 20:38
And how have you settled into that role? Is this something you enjoy more? Kind of the strategic planning and in providing that direction? Or do you miss being in the trenches? Are you happy to be where you’re at? From? From that, you know, human perspective? Are there pieces on it that you miss? Or that you would like to be involved with more than you are?
Derek Pacqué 21:00
It’s a great question. It’s different, I’ll tell you that it’s, you know, it’s, there’s a comfort in going back and being in the weeds and in the trenches. But then there’s also a relief of it, I don’t necessarily have to be in the trenches anymore. So there’s a comfort, that’s, that’s missing. But I think, for growth, it’s something that I’m excited about, right is continually to develop this new set of skills that’s needed to get from instead of the Zero to One to One to two, so on, it’s sort of like, I’m looking at it almost like a startup learning all these new skills to do the one to two. And I’m kind of approaching it that way. Is different mindset different, you know, different need to grow a business. What do I miss it? No, I don’t think I miss it. Um, was it fun? Yeah, there was fun. Yeah, there’s both funds, and, you know, times of not fun. But I think ultimately, it’s exciting to start thinking through the next stage, not just in the business, but in life. So that answers the question.
Tony Zayas 22:07
I do want to get to talk about the software, the technology and kind of what’s behind it. But before we do that, you mentioned, you know, investors a couple times, what did the fundraising process look like for you? I’m guessing that you guys have been funded? Is that correct?
Derek Pacqué 22:22
Correct. Yeah. Um, so you know, Shark Tank, we got an offer from Mark Cuban, we didn’t take the offer. We didn’t like the valuation.
Tony Zayas 22:32
Pretty cool to say that, right?
Derek Pacqué 22:34
Yeah. Yeah, it’s also people thought, you crazy. But what that led to was, the exposure that Shark Tank gives behind the story is brought a lot more interest into what we were doing, and also brought some validation, because Mark Cuban was interested. So after that, you know, we quickly realized New York is the place to grow this business, this is where the most interest is coming from, from these types of transactions. So moving, there was a big step. And we raised capital from investors in the New York market marketplace that can help us kind of grow the business in New York. So we closed the seed round at that time on, and we’ve really, from that group of investors, when we need more capital had been able to get it from those investors, we haven’t had to distract ourselves to get investments and create new rounds, you know, from new investors and create new relationships. So it’s been helpful. As far as you know, we’ve been able to focus on building and growth and less than, you know, around raising capital. And I think, you know, eventually there’ll be a milestone will make, it’ll make sense to raise from some strategics. But at this time, it’s been nice to have that group of investor family that we do here in New York, to kind of get us to that next level.
Tony Zayas 23:53
What was your you know, when you were looking to raise those funds in you were pitching to investors what did your schedule look like? We hear so often that, you know, fundraising is like a full time job in and of itself. And as a founder, basically, I have to figure out how to balance that with everything else you do as a CEO, or whatever your role is in your business. What was it like for you?
Derek Pacqué 24:17
Yeah, it was, you know, when you plan your week or your day, you look at the top things you’re trying to accomplish. Raising capital was definitely a top the top thing. But there were other things that still needed to get completed. We can’t just shut down, you know, the customers we had, we had to keep them happy we had we wanted to get new customers to keep the traction going. So ultimately, on. It was definitely, as far as when someone says a full time job, I’m guessing they mean about 40 hours a week. It took about that much amount of time, but as a founder you find extra time above that 40 hours to keep the rest going. So it’s just like any event, you know, leading up to it. It’s a lot more work and then right up to the deadline. It just keeps keeps adding up. But ultimately, it’s just one part of the function of being the CEO and founder. So you can like stop other other routes.
Tony Zayas 25:10
So just while we’re on the topic, how do you how do you balance things? How do you create some work life? Let’s say harmony. It’s not because usually not very balanced, but how do you how did you get through that? You know, working these probably ridiculous hours? I’m sure at different phases beyond just for fundraising, I’m sure you’ve had dealt with that all along, but how are you you know, keep yourself sane, and, and take care of yourself. At the same time as keep pushing hard in the business?
Derek Pacqué 25:42
Yeah, on routines are helpful. You know, the life and the work life balance I was living when I was 22 23 24, is much different than now being in my 30s. So, you know, at the time, I was just so into it, right? Like, I like I woke up, I wanted, you know, till I went to bed, there’s nothing else that really kind of drove me as much. Now I have a wife, you know, I’m looking at planning for family, things are different now. So on, it’s just managing sort of the different priorities. And I think, you know, we’re at a point now where, like, yeah, I don’t have to do everything myself, I have a team, right? So I think, at the time, I wasn’t even thinking about anything else, really, you know, I bought some steam on the weekends, you know, maybe go work out when I when I could I eat when I could, but my mind was just so focused on making this successful, like, there was not, there was no other option than getting this off the ground. So I think if you’re in that headspace, it’s it’s, it’s, you know, there’s a goal, you got to achieve it. And that’s all you’re thinking about, you don’t even notice these other things. And balance isn’t as important at the time. So I think that also like stepping back, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I was working those ridiculous hours. But at the time, I was having so much fun doing it because it was a challenge, right? It was stimulating me. And I think back to my intern days doing database entry stuff, and like waiting for it to turn the clock to hit five. That never happens in a startup. So
Tony Zayas 27:21
it’s pretty cool. So I would love to dive into the software and hear kind of, you know, what does this look like to kind of secure these, you know, in coat checks? You said hospitality, so on and so forth? What is it you guys have put together? What’s some other line tech beneath that? I’d be curious to hear what you know, you can share on that?
Derek Pacqué 27:43
Yeah. So the first step we always do is we become a coat checker, we become a Bellman, right, and we learn what the process is like with paper. So once we have that experience, we then think about, Okay, with this paper process, what are the biggest pain points? What are the things slowing down? Like? What are the things that guests in the staff care about? And then how can we solve them with technology? So for coat check, the biggest problems were these bottlenecks at the end of the night, one person out of 20 loses a claim ticket, they bottleneck everyone else. It’s like, oh, that’s my black coat. And instead of being able to, if no one had lost that claim ticket, you can get everyone out in maybe 10 minutes, it’ll take 40 minutes. So we realized that is one of the biggest problems, how can tech solve that people won’t forget their phone number, your phone number is your claim ticket? We send them a text with their claim number if their phone dies, they lost they lost their claim, do they just provide their phone number. You know, how do you prevent false claims and theft, you’re constantly reimbursing someone claiming this was their jacket or that was, you know, this happened or that happened, but there’s no proof. So we take pictures, when someone types in their phone number, we get a picture of them. Every time we tap the tag up to our tag reader that’s coming to an iPad, the back camera takes a picture of the item. So now we have pictures of what was checked in. And speed is really important. So our our patents and our process patents around how we capture guests information, you know, at the same time as we collect information about what’s being tagged in the items, and these are simultaneous process. So we because ripping a ticket is fast. So the innovation comes around creating sort of these value props ours where we want it to be faster than the claim ticket. We want to be trusted more than the claim ticket. We want it to have a you know a return on investment that beats the claim ticket. And so that’s where we just kind of evaluate these pillars. Where are we winning? Where do we need to work and focus energy? So technology, iPads are much more expensive than paper. So we had to really prove out around well, what’s the return on investment? You know, what’s the value of your one baseline is you spend X amount buying paper? How much are you spending on claims How about cash gaming because you’re not tracking the cash. So we have to present this value prop and it’s different coat checking. A claim ticket cost three to five cents luggage storage mean these tickets cost up to 18 cents. So you know, just a text message costs way less than 18 cents. So our value prop in the luggage storage spaces, oh my gosh, just paying so much money on luggage storage paper, we’re just less expensive. And we provide a paperless experience where guests can get texts and requests items be brought to the room on we’re more organized. So we just kind of understand the user’s experience, what their pain points are, you know, both from operationally and from a monetary standpoint, and we come to them with a no brainer reason to move forward. And we just keep tackling that for every different operation.
Tony Zayas 30:41
It’s awesome. That’s really cool. I love the innovation there. What, what other like Apple use applications are there that you’ve, you know, maybe you guys haven’t pursued just yet. But that I imagine, there’s got to be a lot of different ways you can use that type of technology.
Derek Pacqué 31:00
Yeah, I think we’re trying to, we really are good to coats and bags, we started with rentals that are one type of item, a silent disco headphone. But if you think about rentals, go to bikes, you kind of expand to beach equipment, beach rentals, from coats and bags, you know, you’re looking at cars next. So if you look at a claim ticket for a coat check versus luggage storage versus valet, there’s more information because the more valuable the item, the more you have the document. So we just think about how does a picture of a front of a car, for example, pull the same information that before they were writing? Oh, it’s a Mercedes, it’s black license plate. So we’re kind of looking at our product roadmap and the features to build. And then once we build a new feature, what verticals does it allow us to solve the problems for? So I mean, what’s crazy to me is when you check your car with a valet, versus when you rent a car, why is that claim tickets so different? Right? The rental companies make you fill out eight forms, right? They, they are really documenting, you know the car, and they’re getting your credit card, but how can when a valet person takes your car, you’re not getting their credit card in case they scratch your car. So our vision is, can we make this back and forth more balanced, right? Build trust between the guest and the customer make it quick, reduced lines, and there’s just so much opportunity to make it better. It’s, it’s still, when you think about renting a car, or valet in your car or checking a bag, there’s always this kind of uncertainty, like, will I get it back? Will something be missing? Right? There’s a massive stigma in the world around checking things with other people you don’t know. And if we could alleviate that trust CHEXOLOGY, right? We will make sure you know, we have through from both sides, we will make sure things are fair. And we really believe if we can do that we can make it quick, fair and trusted. More businesses will sprout up wow, I can provide these services in places that before I would never have thought to do it, because there wasn’t a way to do it well, to create this trust to customers where they can go somewhere to go, I can borrow this, I can store this, and I don’t have to worry. So our hope is that if you look at the it’s called the bailment marketplace, bailment is where you give, instead of like a sale, you’re giving something over between a business and a customer for a period of time and then expect to get back in same condition or better. And our hope is that if we look at the total market share bailment, 10 years from now, we really helped grow it. And people trust this space a lot more.
Tony Zayas 33:35
Sounds like a pretty no brain, no brainer of a value proposition, right? You’re going to these companies and saying it’s going to cost you less, it’s going to be more secure. Right? You’re going to have a trail. So how do you take that to market? What is what are some of the marketing initiatives and tactics you guys have used to be successful?
Derek Pacqué 33:58
We’re storytellers. So I think you know, it starts out with becoming an expert sharing the case how you’ve, like, for example, Museum of Modern Art. We were able to put in systems that actually cute conveyors, conveyors, bring your coach to the front. And staff can focus on the guest experience, as opposed to turning around running and trying to find your code. And so building out a system where we took our long lines on Fridays, down to three minutes, sharing that story, and then communicating it to every museum, right and say, hey, look, what we did for the Museum of Modern Art, look at how we’ve changed this experience and targeting similar similar roles, similar companies and we use we love LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a great place for our space. We found that we’re able to make a lot of connections a lot of people are, you know, Oh, I understand that story. I’m dealing with that problem. I relate. They reach out on me, we consult them and we show them how there are solutions can provide those valuable speed trust? No brainer. Yeah. Value proposition from a price standpoint.
Tony Zayas 35:06
Love. That’s awesome. What do you mentioned, you know, roadmap and I love your approach that you’re saying like for each feature that you add, you’re looking at, you know what market opportunities exist and might be in different places, right, different verticals and applications. So what is the next, let’s say 12 months? You know, in your mind, what does that look like? For you guys?
Derek Pacqué 35:30
We’re very focused on the hospitality space. So whatever they’re checking wherever they’re still using paper, we’re kind of looking at what are their biggest pain points in hospitality where we’ve really done well with nightlife and entertainment, like concert halls, we’ve done good with museums and conventions are all very seasonal, right? Very winter seasonal needs. So hotels, very summer time traffic that kind of complement the winter seasonality of these different verticals. So our top line KPI right now for the company is ending seasonality can we have month over month increase of plane tickets eliminated. And so over the next 12 months, very focused on the hospitality and hotel space. And so it starts with it started with, alright, we already have a coat check solution. Now we also have a luggage storage solution. They identified package storing that there’s a lot of problems with people’s packages coming in early people don’t know if they’re there. So we use our product to check in packages, and then give them back to customers when they get there when it’s arrived. So there’s really no system for doing that. Well. And you know, they’re talking now about some of them do a lot of rentals on properties, resorts, some check golf bags, it’s it’s crazy, the different things that they check. But as we build relationships, we ask them, where are you still using paper? Whether it’s ballet, you know, checking things on cabanas on your beach? You know, what is it that you’re still using the paper written process to do it? And can we help make it better?
Tony Zayas 37:04
It’s awesome. So they’re going to ask you one last question here in a second segment, before we wrap up, I would love to just give you an opportunity to share with anybody that’s watching the show, where can people go to learn more about CHEXOLOGY, of course with you, and learn more about what you’re up to and follow your journey?
Derek Pacqué 37:25
Yeah, LinkedIn is probably where we’re most active. At CHEXOLOGY C H E X O L O G Y, on interact with us there. I’m Derek Pacqué, D E R E K P A C Q U E. Find me on LinkedIn. It’s also my handle on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, but definitely LinkedIn is where we’ve found that we can really build some great business relationships. And it’s where we kind of focus our efforts the most.
Tony Zayas 37:52
That’s awesome. We do have a question that came in here. So I’ll pop it up. And it’s storytelling to promote brands and validate their services is a powerful tool. Are there other examples of you’re doing this in the hospitality industry?
Derek Pacqué 38:06
Yeah, so we just actually, one of our biggest new clients is circa Casino in Las Vegas, it’s a brand new casino, very modern, it’s like they just put it on the old strip, it looks like a spaceship just landed there. So they really fit. We our core values are very similar. They’re all about how can tech improve the guest experience? How can they be very proactive, like when you get there, they want everything to be organized, and you’re not reacting the entire trip. And when we met this team that was building this hotel and launching their systems, it just kind of fit. So what we did is we actually brought a film crew out there, and we told the story, we actually did a comparison of someone’s experience going to a hotel, and checking luggage with a piece of paper, the entire journey side by side with if you’re using our system, so you can see the same guests going through the experience of needing their luggage brought up to the room and getting returned with our system compared to what you know what happens with paper. And then we also allowed all the users that circuit to tell their story from the Guest Services team, to the managers, to the supervisors, on why we’ve helped them perform the service better. So we let our customers tell the story as well. Because we find that, you know, in their expressions in there, they all have little reasons based on their role and what they care about for why they like the system. So we let them tell the stories, and then we just share, you know, their stories. So going through the journey from the guest side, but also the stories from the staff side. Yeah, in hospitality has been super impactful.
Tony Zayas 39:52
So I love that. It’s a great example. Earlier in my career, I was in the digital signatures a little But into the cybersecurity space. And I was always amazed that people were always so surprised to hear about how so many like identity theft. And those types of crimes were low, low tech, right. So it’s an employee flipping through files that they have access to paper. And technology solves so much of that. And a lot of times people think technology’s you know, I can get hacked it can, but a lot of low tech stuff is. So I love that you’re kind of demonstrating the difference between the paper example, and then electronic what you guys have in place, I’m sure that’s pretty compelling. To see some really cool stuff.
Derek Pacqué 40:38
It’s just crazy to me that you can check a car or a bag that give you this tiny piece of paper, which you’re no longer no one holds receipts anymore, right in their wallets. Like it’s just not before everyone was keeping all their checks and paper like in the 1920s, right? So it’s crazy to me that this is everything else in your wallet, paper is going away cash everything else. But the expectation is still hold on to a claim ticket. And if you just drop it by accident, because you’re so used to not keeping the paper, anyone can pick it up off the ground and hand it over and they get your car, your bag, it’s that easy. You just see in a nightclub coach going out and you pick it up handed over, it’s yours. And it’s just crazy to me that 2020 operations are still doing that. Like it’s just, I’m blown away why they would still do that. So sure, that’s what drives me is like, I can’t believe it’s still happening out there.
Tony Zayas 41:33
You know, I love hearing from tech founders like you that take, you know, an everyday challenge that so many people are facing and really take some you know, take innovation, technology to drive just a brand new solution. It’s always fascinating to see. So love hearing your story. Last question for your tenure there. We’d like to ask our guests, you know, if you were to go back in time, so let’s say back before even coat checks, right, you were able to sit down with your younger self at Indiana, right, and have a cup of coffee and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Derek Pacqué 42:16
Focus on, people focus on finding you don’t need to do everything yourself. Invest time in finding the right people to surround yourself with the right team members. In the long term, it will pay off, give give away equity. If you think about what their needs are. You build a stellar team as quickly as you can, and they will speed everything up. So I wish someone had told me how important it was to really invest more amount of time, all the time finding good team members. Because when you find them and you’re like, Where have you been all my life? You know, it’s kind of like, I wish I had found you 10 years ago, five years ago, two years ago, so on. Yeah, that’d be the piece of advice.
Tony Zayas 43:05
It’s awesome. We often hear, you know, from our founders, that our guests that the investors will say, you know, the importance of team. And you know, you can bring the most fascinating innovation to life via technology, but it’s really the team behind that. That’s going to drive it and so up there. So awesome. Well, Derek, thank you so much for your time here. Today’s has been fantastic. We appreciate you spending this time with us and to our guests. Thank you guys for tuning in. We will see you again next time. Until then everybody have a great week. Take care.
Derek Pacqué 43:45
Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
Tony Zayas 43:48