Alums create electronic coupon application
Two recent graduates of Purdue decided to forgo the traditional job search and start their own business, a company that has developed an application that makes virtual coupons available to its subscribers.
The application, called Coupious, was developed by Michael Pastko, a 2007 computer graphics technology graduate, and Arthur Nisnevich, a 2008 graduate in computer science. The free application launched in late March and is available for iPod Touch, iPhone and Android platforms.
Instead of clipping a paper coupon, the customer selects the coupon from the mobile device and has it scanned by the vendor. The application utilizes GPS technology, which automatically determines where the user is located and finds coupons for retailers in that area. GPS chips are inside every cell phone or digital device made today.
"Our system eliminates a lot of the problems with paper coupons," Nisnevich said. "You don't have to clip them out, they can't be copied and the vendor can track how many people have redeemed them."
Pastko and Nisnevich said they have 21 businesses signed up so far and several others in the works. Most of the vendors are located in the West Lafayette or Lafayette area, but they have plans to expand around the state and nation. They also plan to expand the service to Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Pre platforms by fall.
The company's revenue is generated by a small fee that Coupious charges vendors, based on cost per 1,000 clicks. Since they are a start-up company, their marketing has been done mostly through Facebook, Twitter, fliers, and word-of-mouth.
"Our target audience was initially students, but we're finding that faculty, staff, and the general public are using Coupious as well," Pastko said. "We think there is a strong market for this service with a lot of different groups."
The application is available at the iPhone App Store.
Read and hear more at the Purdue Alumnus (pages 9-10 of the May/June 2009 issue).
Coupious Web site.