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4 startups in, UW senior has no plans to stop building

Jack Pawlik, 22, and his partners launched his fourth startup this month — drip, a mobile app similar to Starbucks’ but focused on local cafés.

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One example does not a trend make, but Jack Pawlik is proving that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at UW–Madison.

Pawlik, a 22-year-old senior majoring in real estate, is already on his fourth startup, and the latest one is capitalizing on the popularity of Starbucks’ mobile app but with a focus on local coffee shops.

Drip co-founders Jack Pawlik (left) and Avery Durrant.

Pawlik, along with co-founder Avery Durrant, launched drip earlier this month, offering local coffee shops a new app-based ordering and payment system to help them compete with large chains.

“Starbucks now receives almost 40 percent of its orders from customers using its mobile app, and the Starbucks app is also the most-used payment platform in America, used more than even Apple Pay or Google Pay,” says Durrant, CTO of drip.

“Local shops don’t have the tens of millions of dollars that the national chains have invested in these systems, so we stepped in to produce a system they can use to help them compete. We know drip will help them level the playing field.”

Pawlik and Durrant launched drip last week at two cafés in downtown Madison — Café Social, a coffee shop near the Kohl Center, and Fair Trade Coffee House, a café located on State Street.

“Not only am I hoping to bring my customers a more convenient option, but I hope to attract new customers, as well,” says Omar Lopez, the owner of Café Social. “So far drip has been very easy to work with.”

The drip team says there’s already been an influx of customers using the app at their first cafés, and a number of additional coffee shops in Madison have also joined the platform and plan to go live this month. Additionally, the two students say they have begun marketing the product in five additional cities.

“Our goal is to create a unified network of local cafés that as a whole can compete with these national chains,” notes Durrant. “It’s been very exciting to work on.”

‘I like building things.’

Though he’s only been living the entrepreneurial life for four years, Pawlik’s trajectory for startup success is remarkable.

Pawlik grew up in Minneapolis but moved with his mother to Madison for his senior year in high school. She moved again after he graduated, but Pawlik stayed in Madison as an incoming freshman at UW. That summer of 2015 was when he got involved with his first startup, a food delivery company called EnvoyNow.

“It was founded by four students at USC and I randomly stumbled upon them one day while searching around the internet,” explains Pawlik. “They got a chance to do an impromptu pitch to Mark Cuban, who totally destroyed them, but then Mark Burnett, the producer of Shark Tank, offered them $100,000 on the spot.”

Pawlik reached out and became the first person on the EnvoyNow team outside of the founders, eventually convincing one of his good friends to join, as well. That summer, as EnvoyNow started up in San Francisco, Pawlik and his friend were in charge of opening up the Madison market. “We hired/scheduled all the drivers, signed on our partnered restaurants, marketed the service, and routed the orders every day. Basically we were in charge of everything but the tech. That fall, Envoy launched a total of eight markets, and my good friend and I had Madison doing more orders than anywhere else.

“We were given ownership in the company and led the expansion from eight to 25 delivery markets over our winter break,” says Pawlik. “At the time, I thought this was a pretty normal experience, but looking back it was crazy as we were managing all of this out of our dorm room. I definitely had no idea what I was doing, but it was super fun to learn on the fly.”


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