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Jared Browarnik Cofounds TheTake

29 Mar 2014

In January 2013, while the rest of the student body was on Winter Break, Jared Browarnik, SEAS’16, attended a 5-day intensive startup entrepreneurship class held by entrepreneurship guru Steve Blank. There, he met Tyler Cooper, a student in the Executive MBA program at Columbia. When the class began to make teams for startup ideas, Tyler contacted Jared, and from this budding partnership TheTake was born.

TheTake is a mobile app and website that lets users identify and buy products from movies. It’s been dubbed the Shazam of movies.

“We’ve done interviews with hundreds of people, and nearly every person has had an experience watching a movie and saw something they wanted and couldn’t find it,” Jared said. “Every year, there’s over 50 million searches for products in movies. We know it’s something people want; we just have to figure out the best way to provide a solution.”

Now, more than a year later, TheTake has really taken off. Its founders are serious about its success; Jared will pause his studies at Columbia for some time to join Tyler, who quit his day job last summer, to work on TheTake full time. They recently introduced TheTake to an audience of 10,000 at the LAUNCH festival in California.

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For all three days of LAUNCH, TheTake remained the crowd favorite startup.

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Since then, TheTake has been getting much attention. After its debut on the LAUNCH’s grand stage, TheTake has been courted by many investors who’ve asked whether they have started to raise money yet.The app will be released in a few months (it is currently in beta), and Jared says there is a possibility that the startup will be on SharkTank.

Although the future seems optimistic, the journey has not been easy. Before TheTake, Jared’s programming experience was only with iOS. He had never managed a database or server, or even made a website before.

“At first I said let’s hire someone to do the website, but that turned out terribly. So I was like, I guess I have to do it myself. I spent a weekend intensively learning HTML, CSS, Javascript and went on to make the website. It did help to have a little bit of exeprience from ADI events,” he said.

TheTake’s website is HTML, CSS and jQuery; everything else is in Objective C. Since making the website, Jared has been fixing bugs on it and working intensively on the app. He plans in the future to integrate crowd sourcing so that the information about products on TheTake can be gathered in a communal, Wikipedia-esque fashion. He also says the startup hopes to expand to any form of media such as music videos, live events and TV.

When reflecting on his own success story, Jared advises any aspiring entrepreneur to not let fear be a barrier.

“Just do it. Push through your fear of failure or whatever you think is stopping you from doing it and realize it is probably not a real barrier,” he said. “And go to adicu.com/learn!”

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