Boosterville was founded as Sodbuster by married couple Pam and Tom Cooper. The Cooper’s hale from Indianapolis Indiana and they are the only “out of town” team for this years Seed Hatchery class. I met Pam Cooper on Brad Feld’s alternative to Hacker News, the Startup Revolution Hub. Meeting woman entrepreneurs is nothing new these days however Pam and Tom admittedly have adult children, sometimes older than the other founders on the Startup Revolution Hub, and the other founders at Seed Hatchery.
I quickly struck up an online friendship with Pam that resulted in her presenting at the startup conference and facilitated an introduction into the Seed Hatchery program.
What makes the Coopers even more interesting is that Tom is the founding CTO of Cha-Cha and has been a distinguished CTO for the last 30 years. While I wouldn’t call them “startup rich” the Cooper’s have done well. Pam founded a successful cleaning business. Tom has hit a few doubles and triples in his career. Tom enjoys flying his prop plane when he can pull away from the computer screen.
That’s what makes Cooper’s truly unique. They aren’t in the Seed Hatchery program for the seed investment (which of course helps any startup, Boosterville included), they are in it for the grit and grind and the whirlwind business training that happens during a three month, intensive accelerator program.
While Pam sometimes jokes about being the “class mom” with this year’s Seed Hatchery, they work with the best of them, until late hours of the night and back again first thing in the morning. Tom made arrangements with his development job in Indianapolis to work from Memphis every morning before working on Boosterville.
So what is Boosterville?
It’s a new platform that combines the mobile wallet with a loyalty and rewards type program that benefits local schools. Pam and Tom grew tired of neighborhood kids hitting them up with the same popcorn tins, wrapping paper and World’s Finest Chocolate bars. The school fundraiser was destined for a disruption.
Boosterville has partnered with Peabody Elementary in mid-town Memphis and merchants in the Overton Square and Cooper Young neighborhoods for their beta testing.
The Boosterville mobile app is tied in with local merchants and local schools who have agreed to give a kickback to the school of the user’s choice when they checkout with the Boosterville mobile wallet. The Cooper’s live on the cusp of new technology, and to that end, where others have used Paypal or Google Wallet for checkout, Boosterville uses fellow midwestern startup Dwolla as it’s wallet back bone.
Dwolla’s founder Ben Milne knows Tom well and is very enthusiastic about what Boosterville is doing.
Despite their age, and experience, Boosterville is treated the same way every other startup in the Seed Hatchery class is treated. They’ve been going up and down in the weekly rankings like every other startup and they went through a name change and a couple pivots during the past two months.
Boosterville will graduate from the Seed Hatchery program on demo day which is May 16th and will coincide with the Memphis in May festivities. For more info on Boosterville visit boosterville.com.