As the day progresses, students, as well as small businesses, start to slump. To provide a viable solution, students of Northeastern University, Djan Madruga, Francisco Carchedi, and Victor Bittar created an app that would establish a link between the students and these businesses. The app, which was released in the app store in October 2017, connects the Northeastern campus with the businesses near them. These businesses offer exclusive discounts on food as well as other products. The app not only aims to provide discounted products and food to its customers but also increases the sales of these businesses during off-peak hours.
Madruga, who is a business student at Northeastern University, says, “It’s a very personalised approach, we go to each business and look at the hours when they don’t have a lot of foot traffic, usually in the middle of the afternoon, and create offers during those hours.” Businesses that use Promee app make profit from their sales but they have to pay a flat monthly fee of $30. The appearance of the app is like that of a social media platform where users follow the businesses that intrigue their interest. Customers get notified when these companies offer new discounts.
The app also allows the users to propose new discounts and offers they would like to get. The businesses also receive certain personal information about the user. It has over 4,000 users and 30 businesses that include, Elements Massage, Vibrant Beauty Salon, and CaffeBene. However, the three students plan to partner with many more such businesses soon.
A fund of $10,000 was received by Madruga and his business partners from IDEA which is a student-run business accelerator from Northeastern. With the fund, they created the QR code, established the app as a Limited Liability Company, and trademarked their company’s brand.
Madruga said, “Part of the reason Promee is so successful is because of the relationship we have with Northeastern and all the mentorship we’ve received from our professors”.
To establish the business, the group also received guidance from a program that helps student entrepreneurs to smoothly develop the legal side of business called, Northeastern’s Community Business Clinic. They expressed their gratitude to their professors and this program for helping them with the legalities. Madruga sees himself working in this company in the future as well.