In December 2020, Reed Switzer took a leap of faith. He left The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in his sophomore year to follow his entrepreneurial instinct and build a financial technology company called Hopscotch.
In the simplest terms, Reed described Hopscotch as “Venmo on steroids for small business," where utility and connectivity between users are the top priorities. The platform enables businesses to pay and get paid instantly, without any fees. “Hopscotch’s technical infrastructure and consumer-like business profiles enable us to create an unmatched business payments experience,” said Reed.
The name of the company, Hopscotch, is inspired by its mission. “Small business owners know that business is never a straight line; you are always jumping from point to point. We want to be the vehicle to get your business from point A to point Z,” explained Reed.
"Small business owners know that business is never a straight line; you are always jumping from point to point. We want to be the vehicle to get your business from point A to point Z."
Reed’s inspiration for Hopscotch came from experiences earlier in his business career. At the start of high school, he founded an apparel brand with a few friends. A couple years later, he worked his way up to a leadership position at a music streaming startup.
“When I was dealing with vendors and involved in completing transactions, they always requested payment via paper checks or wire transfers, which are inefficient for a variety of reasons. Online invoicing and bill pay systems weren’t much better. It was a pain point. Meanwhile, in the consumer world, we had Venmo which made sending money to family and friends extremely easy. I knew there had to be a better way for businesses to pay and get paid,” said Reed.
With a vision for the future, Reed employed his self-taught UI/UX design skills to mock up what he thought a seamless business-to-business payment experience should look like. He cold-called small business owners to hear their insights on his design; he wanted to make sure his idea was solving real problems. After receiving encouraging feedback, Reed wanted to confirm that his idea was truly feasible so he hired a financial technology compliance firm to walk through his product. Once given the green light, Reed knew that this business was something he had to pursue. He assembled a diverse advisory board of individuals with deep domain experience in various industries and began building a business plan.
With a go-to-market strategy, roadmap for his product, and guidance from his advisory board, Reed began meeting with venture capitalists to raise capital to make Hopscotch a reality. After a few months of conversations—ranging from disappointing rejections to enthusiastic endorsements—Hopscotch emerged with $3.6 million in seed funding led by NOEMIS Ventures and Stellation Capital.
“My partner, Rick Kleczkowski, and I are incredibly humbled and thrilled to partner with leading venture capitalists. Our seed funds will enable us to scale our marketing, operations, and engineering teams,” said Reed.
In his role as CEO, Reed often tackles complicated issues that require clear and concise written and verbal communication. He specifically credits Windward for providing him with the skills and confidence to perform well in his role.
“Windward set the foundation for so much of what I’m doing now. I can’t speak more highly of Windward’s faculty, style of teaching, and overall community. The skills and confidence I gained in the four years I attended Windward as a student have proven invaluable. Shout out to Dr. Russell, Ms. Sweeney, Ms. Trifiletti, and countless others for the years of support. The Windward community is one that I am honored to be a part of.”
"The skills and confidence I gained in the four years I attended Windward as a student have proven invaluable."
Hopscotch is set to officially launch in January 2022. Small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who are interested can go to tryhopscotch.io to sign up for early access.