By Sean Robinson – Senior Staff Writer
It’s a Saturday morning, and UNO students Keith Fix and Derek Stearns are whiling away their time by getting their geek on.
The two UNO students and aspiring entrepreneurs have hit a technological gold mine. By using their trend-spotting and tech-savvy minds, the duo crafted a website that may be well on its way to being the next big local Internet phenomenon.
Fix and Stearns are the masterminds behind the website DailyMav.com, a site for college students to scope out deals and discounts from local businesses. The discounts range from 50 to 90 percent off at places such as Zap Laser Tag and Oasis Hookah Bar. The site has grown to over 300 users since its launch Oct. 11.
Making their first deal with Oasis just weeks ago, DailyMav.com and its creators have already been featured in numerous media outlets including MSNBC. Fix and Stearns are reaping benefits as they network with community business owners and pump themselves with business experience before graduation.
“We want to do for our site what Facebook did to Myspace,” Stearns said. “These great coupon deals should apply to college students.”
Students who wish to get in on this latest trend must subscribe to the site. All they need to do is purchase the deals and print the voucher or coupon sent to their e-mail.
However, the deals are only valid if enough students subscribe to it, much like the Internet-based daily deal generator Groupon.
The site offers referral bonuses, too, and every friend who subscribes puts an extra dollar in subscribers’ pockets.
The website is completely student-run and employs about 24 account executives. The businesses pay a set percentage to Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, the program that backs the site, in order to have their coupons posted and advertised. However, CEO remains nonprofit, as it doesn’t make a profit from the site itself.
“We are really giving back, I think,” Fix said. “We students get great deals from the site, and the businesses get unlimited word-of-mouth advertising. It’s a deal for everybody; a sustainable business.”
Future plans for the site include expanding the concept to other campuses nationwide and making deals with students who own businesses or on-campus organizations and are looking for financial promotion.
Stearns and Fix have clocked 35 hours in the past week alone working on DailyMav.com. Currently, the two are working on a deal with a student who owns a pizza company.