Eller start-up chosen for conference
Zachary Vito / Arizona Daily Wildcat
The start-up company of two Eller College of Management MBA graduates is thriving a little more than a year after their graduation.
Freight technology company Post.Bid.Ship has been selected to participate in the Invest Southwest Capital Conference in November. The company was one of fourteen selected to pitch its plans to venture capitalists and potentially receive millions of dollars in investments.
Former McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship students Jarret Hamstreet and Micky Thompson launched Post.Bid.Ship the day after they graduated in May 2010. Their company won the Best New Venture of 2010 award from the Eller College of Management that year.
The company has thrived in its first year of operation, said Thompson, chief executive officer of the company. Connections and preparation from the Eller College has led to its success, he said.
“That played probably the most critical role,” Thompson said.
Both Hamstreet and Thompson had several years of business experience before deciding to apply to Eller for their graduate degrees. Students are required to submit start-up company proposals the summer before entering the entrepreneurship program, which is where Post.Bid.Ship originated.
Hamstreet’s family had experience in the trucking industry while Thompson went through the process of bidding on a truck to move his belongings when coming to Tucson. They came together to simplify the process.
Post.Bid.Ship helps connect freight companies with companies in need of shipping. Post.Bid.Ship then receives a 1 percent commission on transactions, according to Thompson.
Bringing technology to the industry is another focus of the company as a younger generation becomes involved in shipping, Thompson said. Post.Bid.Ship uses social media such as Facebook to facilitate bids.
Opportunities through the Eller College allowed the team to present the idea to other students and faculty, Thompson said. Their feedback helped shape the company model.
“We got to hone our investor presentation,” he said.
Connections through the Eller College also helped launch Post.Bid.Ship from the investment side, said Hamstreet, chief operations officer of the company. The McClelland family, an Eller College donor, owns Shamrock Foods and agreed to be Post.Bid.Ship’s first customer.
The success of the start-up is in part aided by the business experience Thompson and Hamstreet had before entering Eller, Hamstreet said. However, a large number of Eller best venture winners go on to create lasting companies, he said.
“The track record is pretty good,” Hamstreet said.
The two maintain their relationship with the UA by speaking to Eller students, Thompson said. He tries to promote entrepreneurship and give internship and career opportunities to students and recent graduates.
Post.Bid.Ship will receive help from a group of in-state mentors before attending the investment conference. This will help the company as it prepares to pitch for funds.
“That’s our goal,” Thompson said. “To just continue growing the company.”