The wacky end-of-winter weather in Seattle, which neared 80 degrees earlier this week, apparently has the employees of one startup daydreaming about rooftop margaritas.
Apptentive, an 8-year-old company that helps companies better engage with mobile customers, is planning to move a 40-person Seattle team from Western Avenue over to new digs at First Avenue and Virginia Street.
This calls for celebration. And a slushie machine. And a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to help pay for the $1,700 machine required to make said slushies.
Michael Fountain — who’s got drinks in his name already! — is the director of product at Apptentive, and he launched the effort to acquire a Narvon SM262 double 2.6 gallon pourover granita/slushy/frozen beverage dispenser. “Quench your guests’ thirsts and elevate your beverage service” the product listing says at WebstaurantStore.com.
He called ping-pong tables a “startup cliché” and said the idea around a slushie machine came about as they planned their office move.
“It came up spontaneously,” Fountain told GeekWire on Friday. “We have a Slack channel for #items-to-order. Our team in Seattle uses it to request things for our office, from groceries to whiteboard erasers. One of our teammates, Matthew, put this idea in there and it snowballed into a GoFundMe as people got excited about the idea of a sunny-day slushie.”
Apptentive is doing well and continues to grow. A 2017 GeekWire story on the startup reported total funding at the time to be $12 million. But as good as the budget was for a move, a slushie machine wasn’t on it. Fountain said employees were jokingly told to raise the funds, so he took that as a challenge and launched the campaign for the “Apptentive Employee Cooling System.”
As of Friday morning, the thirsty techies were 30 percent of the way to their goal with $522 raised from 12 contributors who almost all appear to work for Apptentive. The campaign is the talk of the office.
Fountain admitted that it’s not that warm yet, but the new offices will get a ton of natural sunlight and the building — a stone’s throw from Pike Place Market — has a rooftop deck. Not a bad place to be during the summer in Seattle as the team unwinds with Friday happy hours to celebrate the week that was.
“Slushies and margaritas are probably going to be the most popular drinks but who knows what our team comes up with,” Fountain said. “We’ll rotate voting (and cleaning) for all those who contribute.”