Special Interview with Andrew Koretz: Founder of GarageTime
One of the major problems motor enthusiasts regularly face is not having easy access to good garages and proper tools.
This particular problem prompted Andrew Koretz, a veteran motor enthusiast, to found GarageTime for the DIY motor community.
What were Andrew‘s experiences before founding GarageTime?
What is the uniqueness of GarageTime?
How is GarageTime able to help motor enthusiasts solve their major problems?
Read the informative interview we recently had with Andrew to find answers to the above and other equally important questions.
Please, drop your comments about the interview in the Comments section.
Brannd Hub: Andrew, welcome to this interview!
Andrew: My pleasure. I’m looking forward to it.
Brannd Hub: You were enthusiastic about cars your entire childhood! So, how would you describe your experience with cars as a child?
Andrew: Oh man, yeah! I was fanatical about cars, but the passion didn’t trickle down from my parents. I grew up in Oakland, CA, so there was a pretty diverse and thriving car culture in the Bay Area that I got to see from the window of the family station wagon.
A family friend had a green 1968 Corvette Stingray that I got to ride in as a young kid, and I think that was what hooked me. It was so different from anything else I’d ever seen and was just so aggressive. The car looked fast and aggressive; the roof popped off, there were massive vents on the sides; and it sounded unlike anything else I’d been around. It was hard to get back into a Volvo 240 after that ride.
You could say the motorsports bug bit me pretty hard. I started collecting diecast models, posters, subscribing to magazines and asking my parents to drive me to dealerships and car shows. So I could sit in cars and collect brochures.
Brannd Hub: What actually fuelled your passion for cars as you grew up?
Andrew: Interestingly enough, I think it was the fact that I couldn’t convince my parents to buy a sports car for the family. I did tons of market research and they didn’t bite on my sales pitch that a BMW 850i was a really safe car, or that there was a great deal on a Vector M12 in Los Angeles. Despite my best efforts, nothing appeared in their garage.
My parents gave me a go-kart lesson for my birthday, which was my first time driving anything and was the best gift I’ve ever received. Letting a 12-year-old drive 60mph, 1″ off the ground deffinitly didn’t hurt my love for motorsports.
Brannd Hub: Going to college, did your love for cars influence what you studied eventually?
Andrew: Not at all; and I actually never considered a career working with motors for whatever reason. My degree is in Agricultural Business Economics and Finance from Penn State.
Brannd Hub: After graduation from college, you worked in financial services. How would you describe your experience?
Andrew: One of the most amazing, rigorous, rewarding and unique experiences you could imagine! I worked for a commodity brokerage firm and we helped large commercial clients hedge their risk exposure using futures and options.
I started as a grain analyst providing market research, writing daily commentary, and digging into corn and soybean balance sheets. After a few years I moved into operations and business development, where I got to travel the world and help develop solutions that reduced risk for our client’s businesses.
Every day I was surrounded by some really brilliant and passionate people, all of whom were willing to mentor me, share their knowledge and time. Things move fast at trading firms and there’s a lot at risk every day so I learned to move quickly, work accurately and not overlook the small things.
Brannd Hub: While you were working in the financial sector, were you already into car/motorcycle maintenance and modifications?
Andrew: Yup, I had an old 4Runner that I was maintaining on the streets of Chicago. I also purchased a BMW motorcycle and started to modify it in a below-ground parking garage. I was thankful to have any indoor space to do even the most basic tasks because changing your oil in 10 degrees and wind in February will make you reconsider owning a vehicle at all.
BIannd Hub: Your areas of passion happen to be DIY projects, old motorcycles and cheap Porsches. Why?
Andrew: I can thank my dad for my love of DIY projects — he is the handiest person I know! Growing up I tagged along on the house projects he took on: building a deck, tree trimming, laying flagstone, etc. It gave me a sense of pride for taking care of your possessions, taught me about how things work and how I approach problems. I enjoy owning fewer, better things and having a connection to the things I use.
A lot of those lessons carry over to the motor world. I prefer older vehicles, with minimal electronics, because of the connection between you, the vehicle and the road. The fewer moving parts the better and I take pride in being self-sufficient.
Brannd Hub: Your love for cars led you to found GarageTime, a company that helps both motor enthusiasts and garage owners in unique ways! What makes GarageTime special?
Andrew: It uses existing resources to solve an issue motor enthusiasts and garages have been circling for years. GarageTime helps people connect with their community and make better use of space. The shared economy model has proven to be successful in other spaces and I’m really excited to bring it to the DIY community.
Brannd Hub: Many startups often have something to do with their founders’ past experiences. Is this true about you and GarageTime?
Andrew: I used to change my oil on the roof of a parking structure, in the street, in a friends garage and really anywhere I could find space. When I got into larger projects, I was so frustrated that I didn’t have easy access to a proper garage or specialty tools.
I had a floorjack and rolling toolbox in my living room, jackstands and other tools in my storage unit. I would bring them all down to my parking space and work between two neighboring vehicles. My neighbors looked at me like I was crazy, but it was the only way I could make it work. I kept asking other motor enthusiasts if they had a solution and they all just shrugged. It was either take it to a mechanic or buy a home with a garage. I guess it bothered me enough to find another option.
Brannd Hub: The goal of GarageTime is to promote and connect the DIY motor community. In what specific ways do you intend to achieve this goal?
Andrew: We believe that just getting enthusiasts into garages will help promote the motor culture and build the community.
We are working with auto clubs and partners to put on special events and offer deals to our users. We are also really excited to promote the professional community garages, who teach how-to classes and act as a great resource for wrenchers of all skill levels.
Brannd Hub: You’re bootstrapping GarageTime as the sole founder and have built everything yourself! Any intention to attract VC funds in the nearest future?
Andrew: I’m not currently focused on raising capital. I think it would be a mistake to put effort into anything other than growing our community and creating the best possible product for our users.
Brannd Hub: What is your advice to fellow car enthusiasts and garage owners, who are your target groups?
Andrew: Go out and take chances. If you’re interested in something but unsure of how to do it, go find an expert — they are everywhere and hopefully GarageTime gives you the platform to discover them and build lasting skills and relationships.
Brannd Hub: Do you have favourite business books?
Andrew: One that really stuck with me is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I’ve got a list of 8 books to read on my shelf, but haven’t set aside the time recently to get through them. One of my New Year’s resolutions is read a book each month.
Brannd Hub: What is your favourite business quote?
Andrew: You know, I’m not a big quotes person, so I’d have to look something up to give to you and that doesn’t feel too genuine.
Brannd Hub: It was interesting interviewing you, Andrew! Thanks for your time and for talking with us about GarageTime!
Andrew: Thanks so much.