BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Four years ago, Liana Pedroso had an idea for something that would change the world and impact the way people shop.
And now, she and her husband, Bridgewater councilman Filipe Pedroso, are making this new technology happen with the help of computer programmers from all over the world.
“This is exciting for me, and has started to feel very real to me,” Liana Pedroso said. “I started this as an NYU project.”
She said the project was inspired by her masters program in public relations at New York University.
“We are developing a platform to provide a new way of shopping that people need,” she said. “It will change the e-market.”
“We created a novel shopping method that doesn’t exist,” she added. “I believe this is an important day in the history of e-commerce and I believe we are going to create a new household name that everyone will know, love and enjoy using.”
Filipe Pedroso said his wife had the core idea and they have worked on expanding it.
“It is about selling items to people,” he said. “It was intuitive so I thought it already existed.”
The idea was developed for four years, Liana Pedroso said, and they held a ribbon cutting Sept. 18 at her husband's law office in Somerville to mark the beginning of development of the new idea.
Pedroso Ventures Inc., a New Jersey technology startup corporation, held the ribbon cutting. Attending the event were Sen. Michael Doherty, Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Patrick Scaglione, Somerville Administrator Kevin Sluka, Raritan Mayor Charles McMullin, Bridgewater Township Clerk Linda Doyle and others.
“We spent four years in the idea stage,” Liana Pedroso said. “We are making starts today, and we found crews from all over the world.”
The patent for the program has already been filed in the provisional stage, and it will be about 12 to 15 months for the final patent. Pedroso said they are now fully funded as a start-up and are ready to begin the development work.
Doherty, a patent attorney, represented Filipe and Liana Pedroso in the patent application.
“Filipe and Liana have come up with a very innovative technology,” he said. “We have filed a patent application on this new technology in a provisional application.”
“This project encompasses new innovative technology that we have filed for intellectual property protection,” he added. ‘The technology is now patent-pending and it looks like there is going to be some great opportunity to get one or more patent protections on this new technology.”
About four years ago, Filipe Pedroso said, he was introduced to an executive from JCPenny, and he showed him the idea because they needed to find retail partners.
“He said that this is a genius idea, but wasn’t sure if the retailers were ready,” he said. “Retailers are competitive and don’t like to be in the same spot.”
“When multiple retailers are selling through one site, we have to get data from hundreds for it to work,” he added. “It wasn’t so uniform then, so we waited a little bit. But now the timing is perfect because Amazon has put pressure on the retailers.”
Now, Pedroso said, there are sites that sell from multiple retailers.
“They are open to this idea now,” he said. “Databasing is more uniform now, and more technologically better. The timing is perfect.”
Pedroso said they had to raise money, so they reached out to friends and family.
“It created a challenge, but we were fully funded in a month-and-a-half,” he said. “That was reassuring to us that we were on to something.”
Pedroso said they raised $350,000 in initial capital.
“There’s been a lot of buzz about this project, and my friends keep asking me what we’re up to, but besides a few potential investors and a couple of consultants, it’s been a tight secret,” he said in a release. “We have six independent investors. I only showed the project to eight potential investors in all. In the end, I had more money offered than I could accept, so it’s a good feeling to get so much positive feedback.”
In total, Pedroso Ventures has a pre-investment valuation of $1 million, and a post investment valuation of $1,350,000.
“We have a tremendous idea, a fantastic business plan, an execution strategy, talented coders onboard already and innovative patent-pending business methods,” he said in the release.
Pedroso said they interviewed many different programmers, and hired the top four to work on the business. He said they have a coder from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, another from Rutgers and even another from England. He said they are looking to continue to hire, mostly millennials.
“We expect to have a strong beta in six months to show the retailers and the market,” he said. “We will take things day by day. Everything has to be tested and work right.”
Pedroso said he is happy to bring the work to Somerset County, and his office in Somerville.
“We felt Somerville has a lot of amenities for millennials, and we are targeting them to come here,” he said.
Pedroso said they are looking forward to unveiling the new technology.
“We are going to have a real impact in the culture of a particular segment of e-commerce shopping,” he said. “It will change the way people think about shopping.”