ROTE 086: Matt Miller and How to Start a Vending Machine Business

As entrepreneurs, many of us had the passion and mentality for business at an early age. Growing up with the entrepreneurial mindset is interesting because you are always looking at things differently from other people.

For example, when someone goes up to a vending machine and purchases a drink… I’m not thinking “I’d like a drink” or “I wonder what drink they just got“… I’m thinking, “I wonder how many people use that machine per day and what is the profit margin on each soda!“.

I’m sure many of you share this same mentality and the thought of starting your own vending machine business may have crossed your mind a few times as well — I know I have!

To fill the need for more information on this topic, I was able to sit down with Matt Miller, an unexpecting entrepreneur who has not only mastered the art and business of vending machines… but also the ability to help schools raise millions of dollars in the process.

All of this and more in the latest episode of Rise of the Entrepreneur with special guest Matt Miller.

Rise of the Entrepreneur – Episode 86 with Matt Miller

Matt Miller

Matt Miller is President, and Founder of School Spirit Vending.

Having graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 and being in the Air Force for 9 years, Matt Miller may not seem like your typical entrepreneur. After his time in the Air Force, Matt worked in both the medical and advertising field before venturing out on his own to start what would become School Spirit Vending, a fundraising company based around the concept of using customizable vending machines. Today Matt and his SSV team visit schools throughout the country to spread their message and also to business owners who would like to get involved. The company is now actively fundraising in over 1,500+ schools across more than 20 different starts.

While it may seem like the business model and process to get there is seamless enough, it’s actually quite a story that needs to be told. Building a legitimate multi-million dollar business from a single gumball machine is quite the task!



Talking Points Discussed in this Episode:

  • The story of Matt’s first gumball machine and where he found it
  • Spirit School Vending: The business model and fundraising concept
  • How the vending machine business is changing with technology
  • Minimum investments and costs associated with vending machine
  • Finding the right location and rev share deal for vending machines
  • Using podcasting to reach new audiences and grow Matt’s business
  • Three great Q&A questions for Matt in the Pit of Fire

-> Download this episode to your computer.

Mentioned URLs and Resources:


I can’t thank you enough for listening in to the eighty-sixth episode of the Rise of the Entrepreneur. The podcast is currently available through iTunes (usually ranked in Top 50 in BUSINESS) and has already been downloaded in over 100+ different countries!

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