Two McGill University students have released a private beta version of their nightlife membership platform app, Wildcard.
The pair of 20-year-olds met in their first year at the Montreal-based university and envisioned a centralized solution to an outdated method of managing guest lists at clubs.
“The whole tech boom kind of missed the nightlife sector,” Randeep Singh, cofounder at Wildcard, said to Techvibes. “The current way that people go out is very old fashion and it really hasn’t been brought up to the 21st century. People use clipboards and they send their names in by email. We thought there must be a way better way to do this.”
In between 40 hours of school work (Singh is completing his second year in material engineering while cofounder Tom Zheng is finishing his third year in business) the pair worked on their app. While their original focus was a membership card that could work at all clubs, it gradually shifted into a platform to connect venues and users.
Every user that Wildcard acquires for a given venue will net them between $1 and $5, depending on both the demographics of the venue and the time of day.
Now the app is ready to launch to their nearly 2,700 users in Montreal. By the end of the summer the two ambitious cofounders want to hit 10,000 users in an effort to expand throughout Canada and raise a financing round. Their expectations may not have been high when they started in May 2012, but those expectations have since changed.
“We were expecting it to be a few hundred people to register their cards and try it out in the first couple months,” said Singh. “We’re sitting on almost 3,000 users here and we haven’t officially launched yet.” If all goes well, the pair have their eyes set on the US and Europe as well.
They’ve also benefitted from some unique mentoring. Singh’s father is Parmimder Singh, President at Intellectual Ventures, a Toronto-based VC firm focusing on emerging technologies. Acting as an advisor in a minimal role, he’s been impressed at how the pair has been able to balance the demands of both academia and running a business on a shoestring budget.
“With a platform like Wildcard the possibilities are endless, so it is important to stay focused first, develop a good platform and then expand. I have been encouraging the team to think bigger and broader for the longer-term while maintaining a focus on member satisfaction,” Parmimder said. “This is a real company with a real service that has the capacity of building a unique and much needed ecosystem for young adults.”
Furthermore, he sees today’s beta launch as simply the tip of the iceberg: “The future will likely include other elements of social networks, media content, and value added services, coupled with targeted advertising and a service that extends beyond the borders of Montreal and beyond the boarders of Canada.”
Meanwhile for the Wildcard team, their launch party comes this evening at one of their venue users, Ivy Nightclub in Montreal. Unlike most 20-year-olds they’ll be signing up more users for their business rather than partying though.