Would a text message from a local coffee shop you visited offering a free coffee get you back in the door? With some help from RRC students from the College’s ACE Project Space in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, a new Winnipeg-based service believes the answer is yes.
Chekkit Wifi Marketing and Analytics (Chekkit) is the brain-child of Daniel Fayle, Myles Hiebert, Lee Klimpke, and Emily Franz-Lien and aims to help businesses build loyalty programs through a simple Wi-Fi login page and text messages.
Fayle, Hiebert, Klimpke, & Franz-Lien are currently housed in Red River College’s ACE Project Space as Entrepreneurs in Residence, where they have been working with Business Information Technology students to develop their product.
“The knowledge and resources available at ACE and in the Exchange District is immense. When we started, we had nothing and through ACE we have office space, networking opportunities, a boardroom to host meetings and demonstrations and a lot of support,” Fayle said. “The students we worked with were a big asset and we’re grateful to have been able to provide them with an opportunity to share their skills.”
Chekkit’s aim is to create the best first experience and to help create repeat customers for businesses who offer free Wi-Fi to their customers.
“In creating this product our question was, if someone walks in the door, how do you get them back in? Most people, their eyes are on their phones, and they’re going to log in to Wi-Fi,” said Fayle. “When they log in or when they leave, they can opt-in to receive great deals from the business they visited and brand they love, so the business can send them an offer that will make them want to come back.”
Hiebert adds that most business today look at Wi-Fi as something they just have to offer, without thinking about how they can leverage it to increase the value to the customer, and ultimately to use as a marketing tool and a revenue generator.
“Business owners have overlooked the inherent value of Wi-Fi networks, and the marketing potential here,” he said.
An advantage to the ACE Project Space is that it allows students to fulfill their learning outcomes while interning and gaining practical experiences with the Entrepreneurs-in-Resident and Kamaljeet Singh Dhaliwal and Victoria Reyes worked with Chekkit to help them develop and refine their service.
“The four-month term went really quick and I think that’s a result of good teamwork,” Dhaliwal said. “Daniel and Myles had a lot of ideas and worked with two developers (Emily Franz-Lien & Lee Klimpke) to bring them to life. My main role was to configure a router to support the service and Vicky worked on creating a login page. I also had the opportunity to practice finding bugs in the website and fixing them.”
Haider Al-Saidi, chair, Accounting and Computer Education, RRC, said he’s excited to see more projects like this coming out of the collaborative space.
“We’ve had 20 projects from entrepreneurs and businesses developed in the space this year,” he said. “It’s very exciting and I’m proud to be able to support people like Daniel and Myles from Chekkit, who have a great idea and just need a boost of support to get it off the ground. It’s an incredible experience for our students to be a part of something and to help a business solve a problem or issue that’s been holding them back.”
Chekkit currently has more than 30 clients in Winnipeg and have seen more than 15,000 unique logins. The next steps are to grow Chekkit into a nationally-used service before expanding into the international market.