Ben Silbert is the founder of Bar & Club Stats, which provides bars and other clubs with age verification technology that also collects customer data. On April 25, MillerCoors awarded Bar & Club Stats a grant of $25,000 as part of its Urban Entrepreneurs Series business plan competition. Silbert, 33, was formerly an intellectual property attorney for an N.Y.C.-based investment bank and a design firm. He lives in Brooklyn Heights.
Why did you switch careers?
I switched careers because I saw a need for bars and clubs to protect themselves. After I spoke to a few bars and had two customers, I knew I had to work at Bar & Club Stats full-time to grow the business. In the early stages no one else was going to build the business but me. Talking to potential customers during my lunch break was not going to cut it. I had to jump in and commit to it 100%
What are some pros and cons of your new career?
The pros are that you really reap what you sew. I know if I put in the effort and the time and the hard work that it’ll pay off. But that’s also a con — there are some days when I just want to go to the beach or get off work if I can and meet my friend at happy hour. But bars are animals of the night, so I sometimes need to work nights. But I think the pros and being your own boss outweigh the cons.
Are you happy with your career switch?
Definitely. Seeing what the company has become from ... going on my lunch break to talk to bars and sneaking time in to try to sell it, to doing this full time. ... The $25,000 from [MillerCoors] — that one of the greatest beer companies in the world sees what you’re doing and values your business is incredibly rewarding.
Any advice for readers who are considering a career 180?
Get your product out there and get feedback as soon as possible. If you are thinking of making that switch, wait until you get some feedback before you quit your job. If you see that you’re onto something great, leave your job and pursue your new job full time.