From May 18th to 20th, C100 is hosting a spring mentoring event called 48 hours in the Valley. 20 hand-picked Canadian start-ups will receive invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities. Techvibes is profiling a few of them. Our fourth profile: Calgary's Mobizou Inc.
Mobizou seeks to change the way merchants interact with their consumers through the mobile channel. According to Arpad Barabas, Founder and CEO of the company, Mobizou offers small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) a cost effective way to target and engage consumers through mobile marketing in the way of ads, coupons and surveys which are pushed to consumers’ mobile devices. There are over 10 million SMBs in the United States, and Mobizou plans to target the SMBs that are early technology adopters.
Mobizou has locked on to a problem: Each year, over 350 billion paper coupons are distributed in North America. It costs roughly $7 billion just to print and distribute them, and only about 1% are redeemed. it's done, of course, to gain customers—but the math doesn't add up to an efficient method.
The solution? Mobizou's mobile coupons see redemption rates up to 20%, and don't pollute the environment by filling landfills with unused paper. There is also direct customer engagement via Twitter and Facebook—and feedback is real-time, so merchants can update campaigns within hours, not weeks. Mobizou emphasizes that its software is so simple, it requires no IT integration.
This sleek, simple, and eco-friendly service was enough to land Mobizou a slot in the upcoming even, 48 Hours in the Valley.
Barabas is pleased that his company will be attending the event. "Being able to interact with experienced entrepreneurs and investors that come from Canadian roots is great, as I know they care about supporting Canadian companies and can share the experiences they have had, being located in the heart of the tech scene."
His Canadian start-up looks to benefit immensely from the event. "Having just launched Mobizou, we're facing challenges that a lot of startups face: how to ramp up sales, how to shorten the sales cycle, and make the most out of limited marketing budgets. When I saw this event coming up, I really wanted the chance to sit down with a mentor that would be able to offer insights and suggestions as to how to best meet these challenges. We're totally stoked to have been picked and to visit with C100 members and the other start-ups heading down [there]."
It's a new experience for Barabas and his team, so they're keeping their expectations simple: "[We're] just looking for good feedback and to make some connections."