What started three years ago as a garage hack between a few friends has boomed into what is arguably Minnesota’s hottest startup company.
Initially coined Alvenda (now 8thBridge), the creation launched in early 2009 “and brought a direct online shopping experience to consumers on Facebook for the first time in history,” according to Founder and CEO Wade Gerten.
While simultaneously bringing their first major customer to market on the back of a $500k+ friends and family round, Alvenda proceeded to enter — and sweep the Minnesota Cup that fall. The trajectory continued as as local VC firm Splitrock Partners invested $5m series A in the dead of winter and Jamie Thingelstad came on board as CTO just after the turn of the year.
Alvenda’s second stunt enabled customers to shop with their favorite brands on their Facebook home pages; in this vein, another original innovation was realized when they launched the first travel store on Facebook for Delta Airlines last summer.
Recently re branded as 8thBridge and currently undergoing what Gerten describes as a “third generation” of platform enabled social commerce, the venture is fresh off a $10m series B — bringing Valley money (and brains) into the mix.
Our interview with Wade is riddled with insights (office in Palo Alto?) and entrepreneurial advice translated into fifteen million reasons to enter and compete in this years Minnesota Cup high tech division. The initial application window close tomorrow at 11:59pm.