Entrepreneurial Endeavours Take Off
Graduates start businesses and get to be the big boss
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:10
Although Santa Clara graduates boast an extraordinarily high employment rate after college, there’s another option that’s often pursued: starting a business.
After Amanda Arthur’s graduation, she and her father, Tom Arthur, decided to go forward with something that, for years, had just been a subject of conversation at the dinner table. They started a business by creating a mobile to connect businesses and consumers at a local level.
She didn’t major in business, and in fact, studied history and political science, but Arthur says she has learned more in the past year than she ever would have dreamed. She hopes that what happened with Facebook at Harvard University can be replicated with her app at Santa Clara.
It’s called OptTown, and it allows users to create their ideal “town,” by adding their favorite local businesses. These businesses then have a direct communication channel with loyal customers, allowing the business to post deals and announcements and offer loyalty programs. Whenever users check the app, new deals are offered, which they can take advantage of by having the cashier scan a code on their phone on-site, at the business itself.
“It’s been amazing, watching an idea come to fruition,” Arthur said.
Since the app went live in February at Santa Clara, Arthur has had two tasks. She has been cold-calling businesses, convincing them to join the network and to start offering discounts. At the same time, she has been encouraging students on campus to download the app and start taking advantage of these deals. Popular restaurants like Togo’s, Subway and Jasmine Thai are on the Santa Clara network. The app is now live at University of California, Davis and San Jose State University, and she hopes to someday take it all over the country.
Arthur isn’t the only Santa Clara grad flexing her muscles in the business world. The runaway success Bronco Delivery was an idea that sprouted from then-students Anthony Prieto and Arthur Gallanter.
The pair added the feature to the 10 year old Santa Clara company they bought, Bronco Student Services, which offered storage and laundry services to students.
Since they bought the company, the Bronco Delivery sector has soared and they have doubled the amount of storage customers. Since the co-owners no longer attend Santa Clara, they hired three current students to run the day-to-day operations of the company.
Prieto shared that they have been thinking about franchising the idea and taking it to other schools, but adds that this may prove difficult since part of the company’s success was their unique relationship with Santa Clara.
Contact Liz Wassmann at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.