Event Innovators 2014: Derek Pacque

The C.E.O. of CoatChex has developed a hassle-free, digital system for checking coats.

By Jenny Berg June 17, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

Derek Pacque, C.E.O., CoatChex

Photo: Courtesy of CoatChex

In two years, Derek Pacque’s company, CoatChex, has gone from showing a prototype on ABC’s Shark Tank to working with large-scale events like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Super Bowl parties. His ticketless, digital coat check system all started at a college bar that had no formal coat check. “I decided to hide my brand-new coat,” says Pacque, 25. “Wrong move.” But Pacque’s stolen coat gave him ammunition to start a new business.

In 2010, he began to develop the company that would become CoatChex. The system visually tags people to their possessions; it also has technology that captures audience metrics, including length of stay and demographics data. After launching the prototype on the reality show and spending a couple of months in testing, Pacque and his team decided they were ready to tackle bigger events. In early 2013, CoatChex partnered with American Express to provide a digital coat check at Lincoln Center in New York during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

“[We have] a process and a product that can cure a sometimes-uncontrollable and dreaded part of the event,” Pacque says. He began partnering with more event agencies, planners, and brands and worked on Beyoncé concerts and the YouTube Music Awards.

Currently, the company has big things on the horizon. “We are excited about a project to provide CoatChex for guests traveling to warm-weather destinations from cold-weather climates and are currently testing with JetBlue at J.F.K. Airport,” Pacque says.

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