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Small Empires: Hunting for spare parts and seed funding with Partpic

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An Atlanta startup is reinventing the hunt for replacement parts. Can they convince investors to give them the seed capital they need to grow?

Let's say you need to fix your vacuum cleaning robot, or even worse, the machine that makes your vacuum cleaning robot. You know which part is broken, but where do you go from there? Most of the time when the machine reaches the customer, it's already assembled and the parts aren't labeled at all. Without that crucial bit of info, it can be very difficult to explain to a sales rep exactly what you need, or find a replacement you can order on the web. Googling for "round, squiggly rubber thing with the metal edges" won't help.

Partpic, a startup from Atlanta, Georgia, is hoping to solve that problem. Think of it as visual search for replacement parts. Snap some photos of the item with your phone and the app will try and match you to a replacement part you can buy nearby or online.

Over the last year the company has been building its product and working with its first customer to iron out the kinks. It got some money from an accelerator program, a few startup competitions, along with backing from friends and family. But up to this point no one at the company has been getting a steady salary, so they are all working two jobs instead.

Now Partpic is trying to raise a seed round: its first big investment from professional venture capitalist. It's a make or break moment, with the PartPic team needing to convince jaded investors the company has the potential to grow into a huge business in order to get the capital they need to make their dream a full time occupation.

Follow along with Partpic below and check back in next week for another episode of Small Empires.

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