By Dale Vincent The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester.
Jeff Kelley says the inspiration for the mobile phone app BevNow was his effort to order a Bloody Mary on a golf course last year.
"We were out golfing at Pembroke Pines," he said Friday, and he ended up having to chase the beverage cart. "Farther than that," he said, gesturing toward a tree line at Derryfield Country Club Friday, where BevNow was being beta tested.
Kelley said he and his friends figured there had to be an easier way to get a beverage. Admittedly, at some courses you can text your order to the beverage cart person, but Kelley said the BevNow app is a big improvement.
With the app, all the registered golfer has to do is tap the BevNow symbol (resembling a poptop key) on the screen of his or her phone and the beverage cart person is alerted to location and need for service.
Paying is equally easy, said Kelley, so there's no need to stuff cash in your pocket or take your wallet out on the course. It's a total of two buttons to press: one to call the beverage cart and another to confirm payment. Kelley said that makes the 15 percent convenience fee worth it.
BevNow was founded Jan. 1, by Jeff and his brother, Ben, along with Gray Chynoweth (SilverTech COO), Nick Soggu (SilverTech founder), Eric Esposito (SilverTech director of technology) and Steve Baines.
It has a board of advisers that includes a PGA pro with tour experience and is looking to add more industry reps.
But what CEO Jeff Kelley and COO Stacey Shaheen Bellabonna are looking to do is put BevNow at golf courses throughout the country to serve as many as possible of the 23 million golfers who often want a cool drink and an easy way to get it delivered while out on the course.
Ben Kelley said the results of the beta test at the Derryfield will be evaluated over the weekend and BevNow will be tested again at Loudon Country Club and at Rochester County Club, with the app tweaked as needed.
Jeff Kelley said they are comfortable with the app right now and are thrilled to be one of only six startup companies accepted into the inaugural NH Accelerator Program.
BevNow was also one of four presenters at the NH Innovation Night at AlphaLoft in Durham at the University of New Hampshire and were selected to present at the NH High Tech Council Entrepreneur Forum May 20.
While the focus is on golf courses and beverage ordering, Kelley said it has potential for other uses by businesses to sell products -- kind of an in-person Craig's List, he said.
Participation costs the golf club nothing and can provide valuable demographic information about the people who play there, said Ben Kelley. Signs and information about BevNow will be available in the pro shops at golf clubs.
Kelley explained that BevNow.com was already taken, so the website is BevNow.co.