Anyone who ever visited a pub probably knows the feeling of not knowing where to put their coat , especially when it’s crowded and you need your hands to pay the bartender and to carry drinks back to your spot. And the pub’s coat hanger probably isn’t the most safe place to leave you jacket. This must have inspired the three guys that recently founded a startup called ‘Jakx’. They developed a smart wardrobe after doing some extensive market research among owners of pubs neighbouring the Eindhoven University of Technology where they study.
Pub owners so far are positive about the smart wardrobe: it is basically small box with a cable in it. Customers can pull the cable through the sleeve of their jacket and then snap it onto the box. Customers can easily pay for the service with a debit card and use that same card as an identification to get their coat back. The product is designed for standalone and unmanned use.
The outcome: The owners of small and medium-sized pubs are positive about the smart wardrobe. It is a small box with a cable in it. Customers can pull the cable through the sleeve of their jacket and then snap it onto the box. "They pay with a debit card," explains Jochem Manders, co-founder of Jakx. “The debit card is also the identification. The lock only opens when the customer holds his or her debit card again. "
Apart from small and medium sized pubs, the founders think other establishments like theaters could be seen as a target group for them.
The founders believe stolen jackets is a problem many people can relate to. However pub owners still need to be convinced of the system. That is why Jakx has devised a model in which the pub owners do not have to make large investments to purchase the system.
The idea now is to hang the hooks for free or for just a little amount to get some commitment and then share the turnover with the pubs.
The pub is also the place where it all started. The first sketches were made on the back of a beer mat in the pub. The students - three mechanical engineers and a technical business engineer - had their coats stolen for the umpteenth time and they wanted to come up with a solution for the problem. That was about two and a half years ago. They soon joined University's innovation Space, where entrepreneurs help each other out.
The product is still in the development phase as we speak. The young entrepreneurs can’t wait to have their first launched in a pub and expect that to happen soon.