As founder of OneFire and co-founder of Startup Peoria (now Startup GP), Jake Hamann has some serious bona fides when it comes to entrepreneurship. He’s also a serious Jeep guy. His latest project brings the two worlds together—fusing his role as serial entrepreneur with that of specialty vehicle enthusiast.
It all started in the fall of 2016 when Hamann picked up a custom Jeep from a specialty dealership. Having modified the vehicle to taste, he requested a build list of its components and accessories. “Much to my surprise, the ‘list’ came back as a simple copy-and-paste from the dealership website,” he explains, “missing all of the factory specs, along with several of the modifications, such as gear ratio, axles, engine output, etc.”
Though frustrated, Hamann soon realized he wasn’t alone. Enthusiasts and dealerships have long struggled with keeping track of these modifications —“making it difficult to share and take pride in what makes a vehicle special to its owner,” he says. With that in mind, AUTIX was born.
The online destination will allow specialty vehicle owners to create and share custom vehicle profiles, listing modifications by category (Exterior Body, Power Train, Wheels & Tires, etc.), along with photos, videos and other information. Functionality will be determined by subscription level, with easily-shared links driving traffic back to the website.
“We’re planning to launch an MVP [minimum viable product] of the platform this summer,” Hamann explains. “Currently, we’re in the process of building a comprehensive social media strategy to increase followers, build brand awareness and get registrations through our existing webpage.” To connect with potential users, AUTIX plans to sponsor Central Illinois Cars & Coffee, a local series of monthly car shows, in addition to manning a booth at SEMA, the industry’s premier trade show, in Las Vegas this November.
Hamann is currently building AUTIX on evenings and weekends, utilizing his relationships in the local and national startup communities, as well as specialty vehicle enthusiasts worldwide. “I believe the idea has international appeal and I’d love for it to eventually turn into a full-blown business,” he adds. “I’ve identified at least a half-dozen revenue streams, from subscription fees to affiliate marketing, that will be built into the product roadmap from the beginning.” If it’s successful, he hopes to expand from cars, jeeps, trucks and SUVs to include motorcycles and boats as well. iBi
Learn more about Hamann’s latest venture at autix.io.