Software Development
Entertainment / Social media

mychinoki.com gets businesses and consumers text messaging

Some time in between e-mail and Facebook, the viral social media of choice was text messaging. But Matthew Balin seems to think the business of texting was never fully capitalized. In July, Balin launched mychinoki.com, a mobile platform that connects consumers and businesses for SMS updates. It’s a chance for users to cherry pick what […]


Some time in between e-mail and Facebook, the viral social media of choice was text messaging.
But Matthew Balin seems to think the business of texting was never fully capitalized. In July, Balin launched mychinoki.com, a mobile platform that connects consumers and businesses for SMS updates.
It’s a chance for users to cherry pick what messages they want from what local businesses, which is why Balin chose a name he says is a Westernized translation to a Japanese phrase meaning ‘cherry picker.’

THE MYCHINOKI TEAM
Matt Balin – Founder
Age: 35
Education: Temple University
Previously: Owned and operated privately held real estate and mortgage company
Lives: Old City

Travis Fraser – CTO

Age: 45
Education: Drexel University (master of science in information systems)
Previously: Engineer for the U.S. Government
Lives: Near Rittenhouse Square
Jimmy Jouthe – Programming and design
Age:
33
Education: Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Information Systems, Temple University
Previously
: Software Engineer for the U.S. Department of Treasury
Lives: University City

Consumers sign up for and log into mychinoki.com (that’s my chi-no-ki), sharing their zip code, gender, birth year and mobile carrier. Then they choose what partner companies they’d like to hear from — including local launch partners like esteemed Old City micro brewery Triumph Brew, Northern Liberties burger favorite PYT or Center City nutrition education and services group MANNA.
See more participating companies here.
“The response from Philadelphia businesses has been astounding,”  Balin, 35, said. “In this current economic climate, there still exists cost effective ways for continuing to market to the public.”
Enrolled businesses, who can track how many participants have signed up for their alerts, can use pre-plan promotion and alert tools and target their messages to specific demographics, but only to those consumers who have opted in.
Users can, of course, drop the service and stop all messages at any time.
Businesses pay a $79 one-time set up fee and $79 a month plus a $0.06 text messaging fee. Consumers can join for free.
Balin, who works from his Old City home, conceived of his platform in June 2008, after growing tired of signing up for alerts for promotional discounts and starting to receive others he didn’t want.
mychinoki.com doesn’t allow businesses to sell or share consumer information, ensuring that users only receive messages from the companies they selected. In return, businesses would have a database of interested consumers ready to act on promotions.
The startup is not currently seeking outside investment. Balin says the company hopes to continue to add local Philadelphia businesses before expanding to other cities in 2011.

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