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Startup Feature: Craft Tapp

Craft Tapp was a participating startup in Batch #4 of The Accelerator, connecting local breweries to consumers.

INTERVIEW with Founder, Irshad Shariff

Craft Tapp uses a subscription and on-demand mobile application to connect users with local breweries for home-delivered craft beer.

Aamal Samji and Irshad Shariff.

Aamal Samji and Irshad Shariff.

1. Tell us about yourself

We’re Craft Tapp, a business-to-customer platform connecting local microbreweries directly to

consumers using our subscription and on-demand mobile application.

2. What problem does your company solve?

We have started to unify the fragmented beer market in Canada.

3. How do you solve such a problem?

By putting all locally owned microbreweries on a platform void of corporate branding and

marketing. Microbreweries now have the ability to control their products and price points to be

able to sell more of a variety as well as maintaining product integrity; all while increasing their

margins.

4. When did you notice this gap in the market?

We noticed this gap by being avid craft beer enthusiasts. We realized it was hard to get new

products, let alone fresh products at a reasonable price. Also, It was also difficult to stay up to

date with new breweries coming on board. Of these breweries, it was difficult to make a trip

down to certain parts of the city to try them out or try a limited edition beer.

5. What is your company culture?

Everyone was brought to this team because of their expertise. Our goal is to hear everyone’s

ideas because each person sees things differently. We embrace all sexes, ages, races, and

sexual orientations; meaning there’s a zero-tolerance policy for any harassment. Our vision is

aligned with one another in that we are always helping local businesses and we aim to taste

each new masterpiece from our partners as well. We want hungry and ambitious individuals

looking to make a positive impact for local business by helping them go up against corporate

brand. We are also looking to create an “up or out” culture. By bringing in ambitious people, we want to make sure they are feeling valued by driving more responsibility through a promotion after their first year or by having these individuals go on and create their own startups. We want people like this who are naturally motivated because it shows us that they will not settle and will constantly look for ways to improve.

6. What has your experience been like with the Accelerator program?

It has been a great experience! The Accelerator has been able to connect us with key

individuals to help us become better entrepreneurs. However, the relationship doesn't end there; we are able to reach out to these individuals and receive assistance with the growth of our company beyond The Accelerator’s program. Furthermore, we have been established in a competitive program, met salient investors and have become a part of the tight-knit community of Calgary-based entrepreneurs. This process facilitates our introduction to many individuals who would normally be almost impossible to meet.

7. What was the biggest lesson you learned throughout your experience with the

Accelerator?

All the networking events, pitches, and workshops have explained that a company should never go on autopilot just because it has become profitable. Occasionally, difficult decisions have to be made to increase revenue streams; such as, pivoting a company or discontinuing a part of the business. Additionally, investors look for revenue, profitability and scalability. After which, I realized one of my components of the business was not scalable and I had to terminate that part and focus on the scalable model. The most difficult part was letting it go but the direct contact from investors and the feedback really helped justify the strategic decision whereas otherwise I would be hindering my own growth. It was good to know that other entrepreneurs have faced similar obstacles and learned from their experiences.

8. What has been a major accomplishment for you in 2018?

A major accomplishment has been our revenue from customer subscriptions. This allows us to gauge the market needs for the service we are providing and prepare us for our next strategic developments.


9. What is next for Craft Tapp?

We are launching our on-demand services in Calgary very soon! We are also expanding our

subscription model in Ontario this December.


Want to learn more?

Visit our website https://crafttapp.ca for information and our social media handles or you can email us at info@crafttapp.ca