App offers discounts in U area

Since the app launched, students have saved more than $11,500.

Molly Novak

 

About 2,500 University of Minnesota students looking for deals at campus-area restaurants are using a new app developed by a team of University students and alumni.

With College ByME, an app launched Sept. 1, users can secure deals at area businesses using Apple and Android smartphones.

Chad Olsen, a recent University graduate, two current University students and another recent college graduate developed the app. Olsen said he got the idea for the app because he was always looking for good deals when he was in college.

ByME was created to link students directly to their campus. The app has worked with more than 30 businesses to bring students deals, said David Bardan, a junior in the Carlson School of Management and one of the members of the team.

Bardan said the company has racked up more than $11,500 in total savings.

One such deal at Raising CaneâÄôs helped break the businessâÄôs record for most sales in a day.

âÄúWe basically are the direct channel of retailers to students and students to retailers,âÄù Bardan said.

For now, the app is only available for University students, but the team is hoping to expand its efforts to other college campuses.

The app is made specifically with students in mind, said Peter Dipo-Ajayi, a University junior and the marketing manager for the app. He said it was made by students for students.

âÄúWho knows students better than students?âÄù Olsen asked.

The app deals are unique to the University, said senior Leilah Abdennabi, who has used the app since it came out. It works with popular places that many students already go to.

âÄúI used it twice last week,âÄù Abdennabi said. âÄúItâÄôs cool. It saves us money.âÄù

The main goal of ByME is to create âÄúan exclusive community for students,âÄù Olsen said.

Besides giving out deals to University students, the app features a âÄúshout-outâÄù feed, where students can post something that is visible to everybody else using the app. Students on the shout-out board post about what they are doing, where they are eating and what deals theyâÄôre finding.

One student, Lukas Poggensee, posted on the shout-out board, âÄúWoohoo, finally have a ByME smartphone!âÄù

There is also a campus map and a campus feed of updates, blogs or other announcements from ByME.

âÄúI think itâÄôs convenient, definitely,âÄù Abdennabi said. âÄúI think they could do more with it, though.âÄù

While the app features a map of the area from Google maps, Abdennabi said she would like to see one unique to the University campus with halls and businesses listed on it.

Bardan said the team is working on putting out the next version and bringing the app to larger schools in other areas.