Part One : Giveloop, Adapt.ly, Yunno
Part Two: 8tysix, Campus Sponsorship
Part Three : The rest
Edited: Corrected Campus Sponsorship details.
In part two of our DreamIt Demo Day preview series, we preview two companies that continue a noticeable trend in this year’s DreamIt class: the reliance on social networks for user acquisition.
With the exception of Adapt.ly and Giveloop, all of the companies previewed yesterday lean heavily on Facebook to create a frictionless login service and to help promote user actions to friends and these two companies are no different.
After the jump, read our previews of 8tysix and Campus Sponsorship to get you ready for August 11th and see which company told us that its site has “double rainbow possibility.”
Dan Levin – State College, Pa.
Rob Falcone – Broomall, Pa.
Nick Yang – Canada
Sunny Patel – Mayfair, Northeast Philadelphia
Tony Colantonio – Conshohocken
Matt Morabito – Philadelphia
Colleen Foley – Philadelphia
Founders Rob Falcone and Dan Levin think most companies do a bad job of marketing to college students, often resorting to setting up a table on campus and giving away T-shirts or fliers.
“You always see students take the flier and then immediately throw it in the trash,” says Levin.
They also noticed friends in student organizations struggling to raise money. At Penn State, for example, some student groups clean 107,000-seat Beaver Stadium to raise cash.
“I’m a Penn Stater,” says Levin, “and there’s no amount of money you could have paid me to do that.”
To solve both problems, the company has created Campus Sponsorship, a website that rewards college students for engaging with brands by watching a video, answering a quiz or completing some other interaction with an advertisement. When a student logs in, she can create a page for her student group or click to help support an existing one.
After a user chooses a group, they complete an engagement for a brand (i.e. taking a quiz, becoming a fan of a company’s Facebook profile etc.)
When a student competes an engagement, the brand donates money to the student’s organization. If a student pushes the promotion to Facebook, they can earn additional cash for their student group.
Campus Sponsorship says students remember and appreciate the brand that donates money to their organization and brands don’t have to waste any more money on fliers.
The company hopes to open the site to the “City Six” universities (Temple, Penn, Drexel, St. Joes, Villanova, La Salle) in the fall and, on Aug. 2nd, the company is hosting a “cash dash” where 20 student groups will raise money from noon until midnight.
Oh, and the company promised a “big surprise” at Demo Day.
Business Model: Campus Sponsorship charges on a cost per engagement model and then splits the revenues with the student organization.
Mo Yehia – Business Development, Chicago
Avand Amiri – Technologist, Chicago.
In the company’s short history, 8tysix has already undergone a re-branding. The company started as Dish86, a “Priceline for dining” that had three features: friends were able to post where they wanted to go to dinner and then other friends joined in while restaurants made bids for their business.
Yehia and Amiri decided to simplify the business and drop the restaurant component to create 8tysix, a website that allows users to list all of the things they’ve been “dying to do.” Users can have friends view the to do list and offer to join in. The idea is to provide motivation for all the things people have been putting off — such as going skydiving, currently 8tysix’s most popular to do list item.
“We help friends get together to do things they wouldn’t do alone,” says Yehia. “A friend’s invite is the biggest indication of whether you’ll do something.”
After logging in with Facebook Connect, users are notified of friends already on the site and can then begin assembling their to do list.
After posting an item it’s pushed to Facebook, and friends can join the to do list item and comment.
The site just launched its beta last week, but 8tysix has a laundry list of features it hopes to add in time for Demo Day and a wider launch. The site will soon be able to connect users with friends of friends and make friend and activity suggestions based on the compatibility of to do lists. The site will also connect two people who have similar list items such as “see Inception” and “see a movie.”
And 8tysix has already considered the possibility of people finding dates on its site.
“The site has double rainbow possibility. Maybe even triple,” says Yehia.
Business Model: A mix of affiliate discounts and advertising. The company also envisions an iPhone app and possible partnerships with geolocation services.
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