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Startup Turns Your Tablet Into a Point-of-Sale System

Verdi Ergün, founder of Own Point of Sale
Verdi Ergün, founder of Own Point of Sale

Truly brilliant entrepreneurship sometimes means inventing the product you've been waiting for.

That's exactly what Verdi Ergün did when he founded Own Point of Sale in 2009. A startup out of Ann Arbor, Mich., Own offers quick-service cafes and coffee shops a cloud-based point-of-sale system that works on the company's custom tablet computers.

The concept is fairly straightforward: The shops connect the 12-inch Own tablet to a cash register and card reader, and employees use the tablet to ring up sales on the tablet touch screen using customized menus. Own then sends all the data to a web-based dashboard that shop owners and managers can access from anywhere to track, store and analyze sales.

It's the next-gen approach to POS that Ergün says he was waiting for as the frustrated owner of a quick-service burrito shop on the University of Michigan campus. Ergün found himself cycling through store-bound POS systems that couldn't give him the data or convenience he wanted.

"I felt like I was really ball-and-chained to my store," Ergün says.

"If I wanted to know my sales data, I had to drive to the store or call my manager. If I wanted to change my menu, I had to drive to the store. If I wanted to add new employees, I had to drive to the store."

Own manages those tasks and more from its cloud-based back end. Own POS systems are now in 12 locations in seven states. Looking to employ this startup for your startup? The tablet costs $1,399, and the web-based back-end tool, which lets you administer your tablets, is $149 per month.

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

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This article was originally published in the October 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Own Your Sales Stats.

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