With mall traffic declining and today’s customers having less patience to make in-store purchases, retailers have to find new ways to engage with shoppers. That’s why Rhodes student Cinthya Bolanos ’20 has founded Clu Technologies, a business to business (B2B) software enterprise that bridges the gap between the in-store and online shopping experience.
Bolanos and her Clu Technologies team, made up of Rhodes students Sydnee Haley ’20 and Luke Mansfield ’20 and University of the South student Kylee Richard ’21, will pitch their business idea in Nashville on Aug. 28 and compete for $20,000 as part of the student edition of the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival presented by Launch Tennessee. The competition’s 13 finalists were announced earlier this month.
A Memphis native and educational studies major, Bolanos describes herself as a go-getter with a passion for business, who wants to lead retail tech into the digital age. “During my time working retail, I noticed that when customers have to wait around for help, they often choose to leave the store. Our platform engages with these customers and turns lost sales around for stores.”
Clu Technologies allows shoppers to find product and inventory information, access and order from the online store, and receive recommendations based off of previous pairings on either high definition touch screen devices or other touch screen devices (such as iPads). “We plan to sell two different packages: a premium package that includes our software, and a deluxe package that includes a large flat touch screen along with our software,” she says.
The team already has raised $10,000 for a prototype of the software. At the competition, Bolanos will make the final pitch on behalf of the team to an expert panel of judges comprised of investors, successful founders, and community leaders.