Paul Presberg is the founder of Boulevard, which he launched in 2019 with his brother Luke Presberg and friend Nick Spiroff. The company provides a fast clothes-shopping experience for young professional men, a market segment that is forecast to grow more than 10 percent annually between 2018-23.
The Presbergs and Spiroff participated in the seven-week gBETA startup program earlier this year, which is run by gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator. Paul is a senior studying finance and real estate in the Kelley School of Business and shared his thoughts with Crimson Catalyst.
Paul Presberg: Young professional men have a strong and growing desire to dress well and look great for their social lifestyle, but they generally have very little time to shop. Boulevard focuses on the clothes that every guy needs, like button-downs, plain tees, dress pants, chinos and simple hoodies. This sets us apart from competitors who focus only on streetwear or outdoor gear.
Our mobile app Boulevard Shop, which is available on the app store, is designed to be the fastest shopping experience for men and lends itself to be great for micro-shopping moments, such as when our customers have two minutes before their train arrives or before their meeting begins. We believe that we will solve this common problem of how difficult and time consuming it is to shop on your phone, while simultaneously growing the men’s market since more men will shop if it is less time consuming.
Crimson Catalyst: How does Boulevard work?
PP: When a customer opens the Boulevard app, he will open up to the browse page and see clothing from over 20 leading direct-to-consumer brands that have all been featured in GQ, Forbes, Inc. or the Wall Street Journal. If the customer doesn’t know exactly what he wants to buy or simply wants ideas of what articles of clothing might go together, he can use our feed page. If he likes one brand and wants to shop everything that is available on the brand’s website, he can use our brand page. Finally, our wardrobe page is where customers save their favorite items and receive notifications if their favorite items go on sale.
CC: What are the next steps to advance Boulevard?
PP: The next steps are spending a great deal of time with our end consumer and holding customer interviews. While we are doing that and iterating the product, we will be raising a round of capital.
CC: What are your thoughts on the Bloomington entrepreneurial ecosystem?
PP: The Bloomington tech scene has been very helpful, and it’s growing. The resources available to students are extremely useful, primarily the faculty in the Luddy and Kelley schools, the tech people in the Bloomington community, and the Shoemaker Innovation Center. I have also seen an increase, over my four years here, in the number of student startups that form each year, which is a great sign! Also, my network of friends, especially the ones who are also starting companies at IU, have been extremely helpful and supportive.