Meet BlueCart

Ah, BlueCart. BlueCart + Pelonkey. A friendship lovechild of the magical fairyland that is SXSW via Nicole & Andrew’s chance meeting. Two chatty folks who, well, chatted until they were the best of startup friends. They realized there are a lot of ways we could cross-market, and so this blog feature was born. Ok, some other stuff happened in there, too, because both companies are mega-busy, but you get the idea.

BlueCart & Pelonkey swapped Q’s, and below are one half of the A’s. A cool group of people with a cool mission. I’ll let them tell you what they do.vendor2.0What is BlueCart?

BlueCart is a communication platform for the hospitality industry. Our app streamlines the ordering process between restaurants and their suppliers so that a restaurant can place orders to all their different vendors (produce, meat, alcohol, seafood, linens, etc.) in just one click. Suppliers then get those orders automatically organized on the other side, and everyone sees the whole thing go down in real time. It’s a huge leap forward from managing orders via text messages, emails, and phone calls, and best of all, it’s free.

How long have you been around?

BlueCart first launched in July 2014.

How big is your team?

We’re 27 stunning colleagues strong.

Team

Who can benefit from signing up with you?

Really anyone who handles orders in the hospitality industry and has access to a computer or smartphone can use BlueCart. That’s the beautiful thing about the app, it’s incredibly simple and easy to get the hang of. Anyone from huge restaurant groups in NYC to a small farmer in Kansas can use BlueCart to simplify their ordering. We believe that everyone in this industry, no matter how big or small, should have access to technology that makes their lives easier by making their business run more smoothly. [Us, too!]

What makes you unique?

Hmm. There are many things that make us unique. One of the ways we’re unique is our approach to customer service. Literally everyone is a customer service rep at BlueCart. We make quarterly calls to all our clients to gain feedback and see if we can help with any problems. We’re still young and agile enough that we can make changes to the app based on the feedback we get. Everyone makes those calls, too, from our CEO to our interns. [Hearing from an actual person makes a big difference. Especially when that person is the CEO? Talk about quality assurance.]

If we were to walk in to the BlueCart HQ/office what are the first three things we would notice?

Hmm, that’s a great question. If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have said the ping pong table. But that’s a little cliché for a startup, and honestly we had to get rid of ours anyway because we are growing so quickly. So, to answer your question, one of the first things you would see is the coatrack where a fake wolf’s head sits on top of a hoodie that hasn’t left since Christian wore it for Halloween. After the big bad wolf, you would most likely see a portrait of Chester (a photo of a squirrel dressed up in a turtleneck), which for no reason at all is on our award shelf – and next to that, either because of or in spite of Chester, depending on your perspective, is our award for coolest DC company. [Definitely because of. Can we get a copy?]

Where are you located?

We started in D.C., and now have permanent offices in San Francisco and NYC, with staff in Austin.

What events do you have coming up?

We’re actually hosting an event on menu engineering and how to get the most profits out of your menu in early June. We have the master of menu design, Gregg Rapp, coming to share his tips on crafting a menu. He’s worked with some high-level, diverse clients like IHOP and the Kennedy Center. So, if you know anyone in the bay area that might be interested, let them know. It’s on June 6th and you can get tickets here. [It’s not too late!]

How can BlueCart help the events industry?

BlueCart can help in two ways. First, with logistics. BlueCart allows hotels hosting an event to order all their supplies including linens, silverware, and food all in one place. It’s kind of a one stop shop, but for ordering. Second, we can recommend some fantastic entertainment folks, like Pelonkey…

Food suppliers, food buyers, go check ’em out! With an easy-to-use interface and FREE access, why wouldn’t you want to take a gander?

We heart you, BlueCart.

 

SXSW 2016 Recap

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.46.02 PM

This morning we woke up, looked at the rain outside our window, and thought, We need something exciting to counter this dreary day. And then BAM! it hit us – we never recapped our 2016 SXSW trip! And now the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, ready to join us in our happy nostalgia of getting weird for another year in Austin, TX.

Partnering with our faves at EventsDC and WeDC, we had Rex Riot, Mathias., JC Flores, & DJ Neekola perform at various times throughout the entire weekend-long event. The DJs provided dance music during the day while attendees mingled at the WeDC house, as well as a little at night. In fact, Rex Riot helped warm up the crowd for QuestLove at the crazay closing party. We had a big presence, wearing our Pelonkey tees all over Austin.

 

In addition to that, our CEO, Nicole, was able to pitch to a ton of tech people at the WeDC house at their Tech Breakfast, which included 1776‘s very own Evan Burfield. And (yes, there’s more!) Nicole participated in the WeDC startup showcase along with other DC innovators, such as our new friends at BlueCart, to spread the good Pelonkey word to other SXSW attendees. At the showcase, we had a booth for one day where visitors could come by, ask questions, and generally be wowed by all things Pelonkey. It was a hit, and we were able to talk to so many new people!

Let’s see… what else? We saw Chromeo perform (can we just get them on our platform already & be BFFs??), met the COO of TechWeek at the TechWeek party, mingled some more, party-hopped, explored the city, met DC mayor, Muriel Bowser, were featured on Buzzfeed’s SXSW promo, saw some Events DC friends – Ashley & Greg – and hung out and rocked the WeDC house from Saturday-Monday.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.53.25 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.53.39 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.45.47 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.46.28 PM

A huge, gigantic shoutout to Julie, Damelia, and Tiffany for being awesome, as always, and running the WeDC show like the #bosses they are! Wow, the WeDC has made a baller name for itself at SXSW; it’s always the party and place to be! We are so proud to call them Pelonkey supporters and friends. D’awww, DC love, y’all!

We like to think of ourselves as seasoned pros now that we’ve been to SXSW twice…and really it’s just a matter of time before people are partying it up at the PelonkHouse with some kickass DJs, performers, and peeps. 2017, here we come! #DoYouPelonkey

Pelonkey at 2015 SXSW Interactive

pelonkey sxsw cover

Austin, is it time to come back yet?

It was just a couple months ago that our CEO Nicole and social media intern Danielle hit the road in their swanky Chevy Volt, courtesy of Buick and Digital DC, and headed to Austin, TX to exhibit Pelonkey at SXSW Interactive. 22 hours of driving led them through Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and parts of Texas where they met local talent, checked out the entertainment scene (or at least what they could see of it during their hour-long rest stops), and spoke to a few performers about their life on the stage.

Once in Austin, Nicole and Danielle hit networking events, parties after parties, and conferences meeting local and remote companies and representatives, their only goal to make sure that everyone knew the name Pelonkey by the time they left. Arriving with a fairly open game plan, the two also spent time in the convention center and on the city streets checking out talented performers (and not only musicians!) that make Austin the live music capital of the country.

The highlight, for sure, was taking part in the Monday night WeDC House event, which was the place to be. Pelonkey was the most sought-after table inside, passing out swag left and right, and DJ Neekola made an appearance outside, spinning between live acts as the evening’s host. A surprise visit and shout out from DJ Kool sealed the deal as the best night of SXSW! No doubt about it, Pelonkey will definitely be back next year.

Throughout all of SXSW and the journey traveling to Austin from DC, Nicole and Danielle had their GoPro turned on, gathering footage of daily events, parties, and interviews with local entertainment.

Below, check out our little photo diary of Pelonkey’s trip to SXSW 2015!

 

We started our drive bright and early on Saturday morning, March 14. Taking a car down to Austin instead of a plane allowed us the freedom to stop whenever and wherever we wanted to explore. We were out to discover any kind of local talent we could. After conducting some research and outreach at home before the trip, it turned out that hitting the streets yielded the best results. On Day 1, from Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis, the Pelonkey duo was uncovering talent and native flair around every corner. And also eating some crazy good southern BBQ while enjoying the sites!

    IMG_2557 IMG_2569 IMG_2559 IMG_2580
On the second and last exhausting and exhilarating day of the road trip (you try squeezing 22 hours of driving into two days without wanting to stop, drop, and nap), we were anxious to finally arrive in Austin. We took a pit stop in Little Rock and then flew straight on to Texas, where we only stopped for more BBQ (never enough) and finally arrived in the heart of downtown Austin. Our first party (and main event!) that evening was with Tech Cocktail at Maggie Mae’s. From there, we wandered the city streets, hopped to more bars and parties, made new friends, and soaked up as much of Austin as we could until 3am, running on fumes from little sleep.

        

Continuing with the motto “sleep is for the weak”, we were up and at ’em Monday morning preparing for a long day in Austin. The first half of the day was spent party-hopping, chatting up new people, plotting and planning the Pelonkey launch, and sniffing out free food & drink. Finally, after a focus meeting, it was time to get ready for the We DC House event, where DJ Neekola donned her pink ‘do to hit the decks and Danielle worked the Pelonkey table inside. We DC has been a great supporter of Pelonkey, and partnering with them for their SXSW event was just one of many collaborations to come. Thank you guys so much for helping to bring us to Austin and for putting on such a great party! You guys rock!

                        

The highlight of the night was when Neekola was blasting “Let Me Clear My Throat”, and DJ Kool himself walked over to say “Hey, that’s my song!” He grabbed the mic and gave Neekola and Pelonkey a shout-out, essentially rocking both the party and our world.

The last few days of SXSW, Nicole and Danielle did more of what they came to do: network. Beautiful Austin weather followed them everywhere, and introductions were made to individuals and companies from all across the country.

We are so grateful we were able to go to SXSW 2015, and we can’t stress enough how much we learned and how many great contacts we made. Pelonkey is close to launching, and the excitement we felt in Austin surrounding our venture and the tech culture in general was infectious! Thanks to everyone who helped get us to Austin, and we can’t wait to come back! 

              

Pelonkey is in Washington Life Magazine!

Have you checked out Washington Life Magazine‘s latest November issue? A write-up was done at our amazing tech startup incubator, 1776, and the Pelonkey sisters are featured!

WLM 1776

Check out the article online here!

We are super excited to announce our formal partnership with BAM Technologies!

Have you heard the great news?! The Pelonkey team is stoked to be officially in partnership with BAM Technologies, a local tech firm in Crystal City! Here’s our CEO Nicole Gallub toasting with BAM (that’s sparkling cider, kiddos)!

BAM 1

BAM has experienced and intuitive developers and coders that are going to help build out the Pelonkey site, making it into an indestructible, technically sound, and well-oiled machine! Here’s to a glorious group that can really help make Pelonkey become a reality and flourish! Look at that official contract-signing happening!

BAM 2

We are beyond thrilled to have finalized this amazing partnership and cannot wait to see how Pelonkey develops as time goes on! Questions? Excitement to share with us?! Feel free to email ciera@pelonkey.com with any input! We’d love to hear from you!

Our CEO, DJ Neekola, had an amazing birthday party at Heist last month!

Content modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJ Neekola’s blog on 11/5/14.

Were you there at Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola‘s birthday party at Heist last month? What a great night!

image1

Not only did Neekola want to celebrate turning 21, she also wanted to show off her amazing tech startup, Pelonkey!

Neekola birthday 6

We were giving away awesome swag and raffling off some super cool prizes! Chuck Levin’s sponsored a couple pairs of headphones as well as an entire JBL sound system!

Neekola birthday 3

Congrats to our Pelonkey winners!

Neekola birthday 8 Neekola birthday 10

All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales went to both the Meant 2 Live Foundation and Pelonkey’s crowdfunding efforts!

Neekola birthday 2

Neekola had such a great time rocking out with all of the Pelonkey DJs on the decks that night, and she even hopped on herself for a minute!

Neekola birthday 7

A big thanks to all of our DC DJ’s that played that night at Heist – Hi Def, Wizdom, Welbot, Oz, Alkimist, Vicious, Phlipz, Ri5e, Dirty Hands, you’re all amazing!!

Neekola birthday 9

And thank you to Heist for hosting such a great event!

Neekola birthday 4

Neekola birthday 5

Huge shoutout to everyone who came out and partied with us – you’re all the best!

Neekola birthday 1

Make sure you all sign up for Pelonkey! We want your talent and your party needs – our Pelonkey team will take care of you!!

Pelonkey’s DJ Phlipz spins for End Game!

Last month, Pelonkey‘s stellar DJ Phlipz spun a great mix of tunes for the engineers at End Game! The company decided to party and network at the Key Bridge Marriott and sought out Pelonkey’s great music services as a referral from 1776, our awesome startup incubator and co-working space here in DC!

Phlipz 2

Phlipz had a blast helping all the engineers feel comfortable and energized! End Game had a great group of people, and Phlipz was happy to provide some sweet background jams for them to party to – thanks so much to End Game for having Phlipz! And thank you to 1776 for referring Pelonkey!

Want to book Phlipz for your next event? Hit up Pelonkey’s Ciera Gallub at ciera@pelonkey.com for more deets!

What we learned in Vegas at Tech Cocktail Celebrate

The Pelonkey Team had an amazing time out in Vegas this past week for Tech Cocktail Celebrate! We easily had the coolest booth at the expo, and Max Major and DJ Neekola tore up the pitch competition, impressing all the attendees, judges, and mentors with their passion and vision for the company.

We learned some very important tips and lessons from the many great speakers and panelists at the conference, including 1776 Co-Founder, Donna Harris! Some of these pointers that we felt were especially applicable for our company, we have shared below.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.28.39 PM

1. Make your own path. We do not want to mimic or follow the rules and boundaries set by other companies, whether similar to Pelonkey’s goals or not. Pelonkey plans to completely revolutionize the event and entertainment industry, changing the way entertainers and party planners do biz together – that will take risks and traveling down the unbeaten path, a challenge we are more than excited to face!

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.28.26 PM

2. Be selective about whom you choose to partner with. The Pelonkey Team has worked very hard to bring our customers only the best in local partnerships for the company. We chose one of the most popular night venues in the city, Heist, to host our awesome entertainer events at; the Beat Refinery DJ school offers discounted classes and sessions to local DJs, who can also test to become Beat Refinery certified; Chuck Levin’s offers discounted equipment specials to Pelonkey musicians; Digital DC is our connect with the local DC government; EventsDC brings Pelonkey all the latest in events around the area as well as an in to the party planner side of things. We are always looking out for the best interests of our Pelonkey peeps!

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.25.46 PM

3. Know your audience and constantly customize your product to their needs. We want to know all the good stuff as well as what we can improve on here at Pelonkey – please reach out to us with any feedback! This site is for you all, so we want it to be the best experience possible.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 4.26.05 PM

4. Be responsive on social media. Pelonkey’s company values focus our priorities on customer service. If you need something, we try to be as accessible as possible to your request, whether it’s in a tweet, email, FB message, text, you name it!

There are many other awesome tips we received from the pros at the Celebrate Conference, and we wanted to outline these four super important lessons we learned for all of our great supporters and users! Vegas was awesome, and we can’t wait to launch Pelonkey officially in early 2015! For more deets into what we did while at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, check out our previous blog post here.

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Rich Shea

Our awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Rich Shea runs HiBall Events, which owns 7 different event companies operating in 6 states, and Washington, DC. Most noteworthy within HiBall is the Big Night America New Year’s Eve events, which produce 5 of the largest NYE celebrations in the country! Bigger news than that party, Rich is a new daddy!

Rich baby

Rich brings great insight to the Pelonkey Advisory Board with all of his event planning and venue experience. Being neck deep in the entertainment industry and managing different artists across the nation on a regular basis gives him a very focused understanding of all levels of company operations. Specific to Pelonkey, Rich brings insight to the relationship between the artist, the promoter, and the venue from the promoter’s perspective. He also has a good degree of marketing/sales expertise, especially in regards to the online world, which can be helpful to Pelonkey as it scales up.

HiBall logo

Marketing is Rich’s strongest skill – he has extensive experience in opening new markets by connecting people with unique event environments. Rich believes that Pelonkey will bring all event industry people closer together, since the back business content is easily automated and taken care of, allowing more time for everyone to do what they love best: entertain!

HiBall

HiBall has many exciting events coming up, and the one Rich is most excited for is a new Big Night America in Chicago! Located at one of the best hotels in the city, the Hilton Palmer House, this event is sure to be huge and super awesome!

Rich

One thing you may not know about Rich from the outside is that he loves bananas. They are fruity perfection. Rich also plays hockey in his free time with DC Street Hockey, making sure he maintains a great summer bod all year round! If you would like to email Rich, you should customize your font to Helvetica, which is his favorite due to its aesthetic appeal. We love having Rich on our Pelonkey Advisory Board as a great power player!

Pelonkey Partners & Advisory Board Happy Hour!

On Wednesday, Pelonkey brought together its fabulous partners and Advisory Board members together for a meet and greet group happy hour! One of our great Advisory Board members, Tony Cord with DC Innovates, hosted the happy hour at his beautiful penthouse over in Thomas Circle, with yummy food sponsored by Chix (Eat Responsibly).

hh 1

Stylus Chris and DJ Alkimist came out from the Beat Refinery DJ school to meet our awesome Pelonkey Board! The Beat Refinery teaches people how to be an awesome DJ, and they have partnered with Pelonkey because they believe in the mission – this business will disrupt the events and entertainment industry! Performing artists aren’t always the savviest on the business end. Pelonkey provides a secure business platform for the entertainers and puts the power of their contracts back into their own hands. The Beat Refinery is completely on board with that! Another Pelonkey partner, Heist Lounge owner DJ Dirty Hands came out for the celebration! Heist allows Pelonkey to host sponsored events at their venue at no additional fee, with a heavy emphasis on the DJ market for entertainers.

hh 2

Other awesome Board members that came out were Victoria Michael with VM Relations, Rich Shea with HiBall Events, Eddie Fam with Meant 2 Live Foundation, and Steve Britt with Leach Travell Britt Law. DJ Neekola gave a quick update to everyone about all the exciting things that have been happening for Pelonkey, including our most recent win at Tech Cocktail in Vegas a couple weeks ago!

hh 3

It was an awesome evening, and everyone had a wonderful time getting to know each other and being the DREAM TEAM that they are! Thank you, guys! Pelonkey wouldn’t be what it is today without all of your awesome support!