Local Startup Spotlight: Hammr
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Like most great ideas, it all started with a problem - a leaky kitchen faucet. It was the middle of fall semester dead week at WSU and the last thing Brek Goin wanted to deal with was the notorious property management company of his rental house. After hours of frustrating and fruitless internet searching for a contractor to repair the faucet and subsequent water damage, Brek thought "there has to be a better way." The idea of Hammr was born. "It's not so much a matchmaking site as it is a LinkedIn for contractors. We're bridging the gap between homeowners and contractors by eliminating communication barriers" Brek says. Coming from a family of contractors, Brek has first-hand experience in the industry and understands the frustrations that exist between contractors and homeowners, primarily around communication. Different than Angie's List or other referral sites, Hammr doesn't charge contractors for using the service - which includes a personalized webpage for each business - nor does it charge homeowners for submitting projects for quotes or bids. Rather, Hammr is free for homeowners while contractors pay only a flat percentage upon completion of a project, what Brek calls 'pay when they win.' Additionally, Hammr is the only site that provides homeowners with the ability to message contractors directly, again for free. Brek has been actively developing Hammr for just over a year, with help from WSU, Startup Spokane, and Ignite Northwest. Currently Hammr exists as a landing page where homeowners and contractors can sign up to be notified when the full site is launched. "We're still in development, but plan on beta testing in June, just in Spokane" Brek says. If all goes well, he hopes to expand methodically to Seattle then other large, regional markets. In addition to extensive research, customer surveying, and some insider knowledge (Brek's father is a contractor), when asked what is his biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs, Brek says "make sure you're in it for the right reasons. Your biggest competition will be yourself. You'll get punched in the face every day, but if you're passionate and persistent, you'll have a better chance of achieving your mission." Brek will present Hammr at Ignite Northwest's Demo Day on May 3rd (register here). You can visit Hammr's landing page here. If you're a homeowner or contractor interested in this service, we encourage you to sign up!