Happy MLK Weekend everyone!! As you know we love to connect with other young entrepreneurs following their dreams...so today we are thrilled to bring you an interview with Scott Poniewaz, Co-Founder of CampusDibs. CampusDibs is a fully functioning sale site dedicated to the needs of today's college student. We are super psyched to be apart of this week's CampusDibs Newsletter and hope you check out our interview with Scott as well as their awesome site.
CMar: What is CampusDibs and how did you originate the idea for it?
Scott: It wasn’t long ago that we were digging for change in the cushions for beer money, and realized it would be awesome if we could help students live large on the cheap with brands they already know, while also introducing up-and-coming products, services and brands (like c. marchuska). Students have similar needs across the country, so we offer everything from deals at the local pizza place all the way up to products like dorm furnishings, textbooks, or spring break travel. We also provide the opportunity for amazing experiences like NJ Nets basketball games or touring Broadway shows like Rock of Ages.
CMar: Who currently is a part of the CampusDibs team and how did you meet?
Scott: We have a great team with Garren Givens, Manish Vora and I as the co-founders of the company. We were all born in Wisconsin and somehow connected in New York through various entrepreneur and startup channels here in the city. We also have a few full-time staff and interns from schools like Baruch, Columbia, and Trinity (and we’re still looking for more).
CMar: What role has social media played in your business?
Scott: Colleges have inherent offline social networks that are tightly knit. One person telling their 3 roommates has been a great benefit with campuses. Facebook and Twitter referral programs are also key to helping spread Campus Dibs to different campuses around the country.
CMar: Where do you see CampusDibs 5 years from now?
Scott: We’ll still be putting together great offers for students and introducing them to the best things out there. Given the pace at which things move in modern times and in technology, we have a feeling there will be a much different experience we’ll be building on to bring everything awesome to students. Who knows, maybe we’ll have space travel for spring break by then!
CMar: Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Scott: I definitely did not take a direct path to where I am today. I grew up in Wisconsin and started college at the University of Montana studying art education, graduated with a photojournalism degree, landed a job teaching photo programs in Southeast Asia for a teen travel company, then ended up building their India operations and other Asian markets before leaving the safety of a salary and jetsetting to take the leap of faith to help launch Campus Dibs. Along the way, I’ve done everything from ski instructing to graphic design to cooking. Versatility is an important trait for entrepreneurs.
CMar: What inspires you?
Scott: Success, but not in the financial sense. Everything I do, I want to do well. I think Garren, Manish and I all share the same workaholic ethic, simply because we have that drive to succeed in everything we do. You should see us at our company bowling parties, you’ll definitely see that drive come out in all of us (laughing).
CMar: What's the most important thing you have learned from starting this business?
Scott: Aside from keeping all of our students happy and saving them money, it is the ability to reflect on how each decision effects the business, then move our strategy forward or pivot quickly based on that information. From my time in India for my previous company, it would definitely be that a cup of tea can go a long way.
CMar: Will you be featuring more green companies going forward? Is it an initiative for your site?
Scott: As we grow, we want to definitely feature more green companies on our site. One of our partnerships is with Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and they have been very adamant about doing a series of local, green deals for their campus. We think college students today are more conscious and supportive of eco-friendly brands and of course, we love them too!
Thank you so much Scott!!! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Until next time stay eco-fabulous,