Bethpage, NY According to Nassau County executive Edward Mangano, Vengo, a “Shark Tank” success story, has found a home with the help of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Vengo is a software and media company that uses its proprietary high-tech vending machines to market physical products. The company had been operating in Queens, and has now relocated its headquarters to the Bethpage Business Park.
“I’m excited that Vengo has decided to locate in our county and is already growing rapidly,” said Mangano. “Businesses such as Vengo are important to our economy and Vengo’s move is an example of the success that my economic development team has had in attracting new employers and thousands of new jobs to Nassau County.”
Vengo was created in 2012 out of a garage in Bethpage, where co-founder and chief designer Steven Bofill grew up. Bofill’s partners are co-founder and CEO Brian Shimmerlik and chief engineer Brian Bofill, Steven’s father and a former Northrop Grumman systems engineer who actually worked on the same grounds in a past role as an aerospace engineer. The company moved from Queens into the 4,000 s/f space in Bethpage late December and is already is expanding into an additional 2,000 s/f of adjacent space.
“It is amazing to come back home with a growing company and set up our headquarters around the corner from where we got started,” said Steven Bofill.
“At Vengo, I’m having fun every day building a complex technology platform from scratch,” said Brian Bofill.
The company earned the 2nd largest deal in the history of the ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” which aired in March. Steven Bofill turned to the IDA last year for help in finding space. “Vengo is expanding quickly to keep up with demand from the market. We will double our workforce to 30 people by year-end,” Brian Shimmerlik said.
In September, Vengo showcased its machine at a meeting of the IDA-sponsored Long Island Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club showcase. The IDA found Vengo space at the Steel Equities site, a 1.2 million s/f former U.S. Navy facility that Steel Equities purchased from Nassau County with IDA assistance in 2011. “The IDA was enormously helpful” said Steven Bofill.
Vengo is known for their slim “vending machines that utilize cloud-controlled software to engage consumers with great digital content and dispense new products for people to try. Vengo partners with the traditional vending industry, enabling them with a new offering to customers and turn-key, efficient operations. An operator can track sales and inventory levels remotely from his phone. Vengo drives 4x higher sales per square foot and is restocked in 1/10th of the time compared to a traditional vending machine. Vengo then works with the brands that manufacture consumer packaged goods and helps them engage consumers and drive trial of their product.
In March 2016, Vengo won a $2 million investment on “Shark Tank” from hosts Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner, and since has received funding from other well-known investors such as Nas and Tony Hsieh’s venture funds and the Founder of Coinstar. Vengo has established major partnerships – spanning advertising, product placement and machine locations – with such companies as Canteen Corp., Hershey Co., Revlon, Hyatt Hotels and a large, national fitness chain.
All told, Vengo has placed about 400 machines in the field, mostly at colleges, gyms and hotels, including New York University and the Hudson Hotel. By April, the Vengo network will drive 17mm impressions per month. And, according to Brian Shimmerlik, “We’re just getting started.”