Chief Storyteller at Wefunder. Mother of three beautiful guinea pigs.
All Aboard the Man Van
Dealflicks is the go-to place for discounted movie tickets and concessions at your local theater. But how did they get there? By roaming around the country in their ManVan, hitting up theaters by day and sleeping in the back of the their van by night. Sean Wycliffe, cofounder and CEO, discusses the hustler mentality that drives Dealflicks forward.
“Do whatever it takes” is the entrepreneur’s signature motto. Dealflicks co-founder Sean Wycliffe and Kevin Hong embraced that motto and took it one step further with the Man Van, a cross-country crusade to sign as many theaters as possible.
Wycliffe and Hale launched Dealflicks in the summer of 2012 to a lukewarm response. By the end of the year, Wycliffe said Dealflicks had signed 60 or so theaters — a number too low for their expectations. It was time to flip the script.
“We realized cold-calling doesn’t work, email doesn’t work, what works is getting that face time,” Wycliffe says.
Kevin Hong, the Chief of Business Development (CBD), proposed getting up close and personal with theaters all across the country. Hong traded his Acura for his father’s minivan and set off on a three-month road trip across the United States to visit as many independent theaters as he could.
Hong took bootstrapping to the maximum. He slept on a full-sized mattress stuffed into the back of the minivan, showered at 24 Hour Fitness, and drove miles on end to wine-and-dine theater owners.
It was wildly successful.
“Theater owners respected it,” Wycliffe says. “There were just an insane amount of stories that came out of it, as you can imagine.”
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