How Monsieur Shook Up Disrupt SF With Its Bartending Robot

And we’re back with episode two of our Road To Disrupt video series, which shows the good, the bad, and the ugly moments startups go through when competing in the Disrupt Battlefield competition.

After enduring a few too many run-ins with the slow service at Applebee’s, the founders of Monsieur set out to shake up the bartending industry. In case you missed our coverage of the company’s launch at Disrupt SF 2013, Monsieur is a robotic bartender. With remote ordering, varying drink strength and consumption tracking, Monsieur is quite possibly the world’s smartest bartender.

Monsieur is brought to you by a group of Georgia Tech mechanical engineers and computer scientists. In true startup fashion, when Monsieur launched, the company was completely bootstrapped and running operations out of founder Barry Givens‘ parent’s garage. To prototype the device, the team got creative and used plywood, spray paint and duct tape to figure out the mechanics behind creating the perfect drink.

Monsieur has gone through many iterations since then and completed a successful Kickstarter campaign following Disrupt last fall. The company raised $140,000 to bring the device to clubs, sports venue boxes, and other VIP venues.

In a phone call this week, Monsieur’s chairman Paul Judge told TechCrunch that the company has completed a pilot at Philips Arena in Atlanta, and has been showcased by the National Restaurant Association, which has led to a surge in orders from restaurants and hotels. At the moment, Monsieur has several million dollars of orders in the pipeline in addition to the Kickstarter orders, and is on track to ship upwards of 1,000 units.

As we get more comfortable with smarter devices and using robots in our day-to-day lives, it’s not a huge leap to think a gizmo like Monsieur could take the place of self-service cocktail setups found at bottle service tables in nightclubs. Just this spring, we’ve seen the launch of drone rental program for photographers and Google Ventures invested in a “services industry” robot.

Watch the video above to hear the behind-the-scenes story of how Monsieur got its start and what it was like for the founders as they competed in the startup Battlefield.

Tickets for Disrupt SF 2014 are currently available. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, reach out to our sponsorship team for more info.