Who We Are:
We’re recent college graduates who recognized that while many merchants provide opportunities for students to save, the discounts are not transparent. That’s where Student IDeals comes in. We bridge the gap, making student discounts much more accessible, on smartphones, and by providing recommendations and rewards along the way.
Why We Exist:
Our mission is simple: to help students take control over their commerce experiences and get more. Discover great places; save every time they buy; and easily share with friends. We want every student to pick up their phones and easily identify student-friendly spaces around them. Whether it be a nearby café, mechanic, or even music venue, we want it mobile and in real time.
Why We Need the Help:
We validated Student IDeals on one campus last fall, and now want to bring it to 34 million college and HS students across the US. Our first step is expanding to all of LA. And, after that, in major metros across the US.
We need your help to do that! Your support helps students everywhere, and when you support us you can vote on where Student IDeals goes next.
Why Choose Us:
Being students ourselves, we’ve experienced how stressful and demanding the college environment can be. That’s why we’re building the largest database of student-related opportunities and making it completely free to use. Other services like Student Advantage charge up to $20 per year for a physical card and many national offers that already exist over the web. We’re social, local, and mobile, and we think it’s time for a change.
Yes, this is our first company, but to help this business flourish we're working with a great group of people that know how to grow start ups to national scale: Ed Fish (linkedin.com/in/edfish); Jay Budzik (www.linkedin.com/in/jaybudzik); Ted Hopper (linkedin.com/in/tedhopper); Hardeep Bindra (linkedin.com/profile/view?id=323426); Andrew Federici (linkedin.com/profile/view?id=4028185).
How We Make Money:
Our service is free to users, and we make money from brands and merchants that cater to students and millenials. This is already a multi-billion dollar market, and on average, each student spends about $10,000 annually on discretionary items (food, entertainment, shopping). "Back to School" spending is second only to the Christmas holidays.
We charge brands and merchants a small fee for enhanced listings and other packages. As we grow, we'll also offer premium services paid for by users -- like Spotify and Pandora. Advertising to students and millenials is already a multi-billion dollar market.
We're not creating a new business segment -- we're disrupting an existing one. Services like Student Advantage and others have millions of users that pay $20 per year for very little everyday value. Recent events show the market potential as well. In the last few weeks a company called Chegg bought a company called Campus Special for US $17M (in cash and stock). http://investor.chegg.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2014/Chegg-Acquires-Student-Deals-Platform-Campus-Special/default.aspx.
We can't be sure we'll become a great company, but we do seriously believe that there are problems with current models that we uniquely address.
What donations are used for:
• Building the next version of our app. We want to close the loop between students and merchants, make it easy to redeem discounts, gather achievements, and share discoveries. We want to make the experience truly participatory, which is what your donations will help us do.
• Branching out to all of Los Angeles. We think that students deserve the widest array of student related discounts across all categories: from recreational areas to bars to boutique gift shops to national merchants and brands. Our vision is an integrated college and community. Your donations will go to enhancing our canvassing and management strategies so we can scale efficiently (and to your city?)
• Growing the Company and “superserving” users and merchants.
Thanks very much for your consideration,
The Student IDeals Team
Risks and challenges
Risks and Challenges:
Building a business is hard, and we know there will be a lot of risks and challenges. While we're confident in what we can deliver, we will need to overcome a host of obstacles, some of which include:
• Creating apps that students really love or they won't download it, use it for a long time or tell others about it. We need to continually add value and do it in a reliable and fun way.
• Marketing the app well and becoming "known" with students so they hear about us, download us, and tell their friends to do that as well. We'll need to both market directly and execute on partnerships with companies already serving these communities.
• Attracting and retaining a great database of merchants and activities, so there's a reason to use us every day.
• Competing successfully against a host of companies, some big and some small, some focused on student discounts (like Student Advantage and Campus Special) and some that are more social media oriented and target millenials (Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, etc.)
We also need to prove that merchants (and especially brands) will adopt our premium models -- which depends on having enough users and providing good interactivity with merchants and brands by users.
And, let's not forget that we'll need to raise additional money along the way so we can continue to get better, bigger and more able to distance ourselves from the competition.
We're off to a good start, but it will be a lot of work. Our pilot launch has showed our techniques are effective, but we will learn a lot over the next year as we expand, so your backing is crucial.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)