Web site tailors to students’ budgets

Adrianne D'Angelo//The Miami Hurricane
Juniors Spencer Acker and Jesse Sherb have launched a website for students to recieve local deals and best buys. Adrianne D'Angelo//The Miami Hurricane

Scavenging for inexpensive deals and best buys is an art that all college students quickly learn. Now, two UM marketing majors are on the verge of launching a Web site intended to bring great discounts and offers to students to make the college lifestyle more accessible to those on a budget.

The two School of Business students, juniors Spencer Acker and Jesse Sherb, have partnered with Innovent Marketing, a firm specializing in social events and college nightlife, to develop Savvy Campus, a site that will offer students significant savings around Miami.

“There were no deals for UM students to turn to,” Sherb said. “We are targeting students because we know that all of us in college are looking for cheaper ways of living since we are on a budget.”

Using social media and general marketing and business concepts, Savvy Campus will quickly tap into the college network to give students special deals.

Each week, an e-mail with a new business will offer the latest savings. The e-mail will consist of exclusive money-saving opportunities, an editorial review of the business, a discussion board and how long the deal will last. The deal, however, can only be activated once a minimum threshold of consumers has shown interest. This particular concept is purposefully used to excite all students and ensure that there is maximum awareness of the featured business.

The Savvy Campus home page will show drop-down menus requiring an e-mail address and the name of the student’s school. After clicking “see my deal,” users will automatically be prompted to the deal of the week.

Unlike similar discount Web sites, Savvy Campus will also connect users to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

“We’re using social media to develop a highly interactive way of sharing deals with all your friends,” Acker said. “We are highlighting social media because that is how college students interact.”

All the businesses featured on Savvy Campus will be tailored toward the life of a college student. Restaurants, nightclubs, clothing stores, gyms and even hair salons will all offer savings opportunities to ensure that students are given many options.

“Between tuition, books, food and just living, it’s difficult to save money and watch what I buy,” sophomore engineering major Jannelle Chaviano said. “I’ll definitely be looking out for all that Savvy Campus has to offer.”

Savvy Campus will not only launch at the University of Miami this fall. Duke University, Penn State University, Syracuse University, University of North Carolina and the University of Florida are among the participating schools.

“We have lists of networks compiled and college representatives on campuses across the nation. We will be hosting promotional events throughout the semester to spread the word,” Acker said.

Once Savvy Campus launches, the deals will be offered to all of the campuses on the network. Once the users become familiar with the system, however, e-mails will include local businesses that target the specific clientele of each campus.

“We want to become your best resource for savings,” Acker said. “Students will use Savvy Campus as not only a place to save money, but a hub to ease stress and see what their friends are buying.”

Savvy Campus is currently registering students and will launch in the early months of the fall semester.

Jonathan Borge may be contacted at jborge@themiamihurricane.com.