Friday, January 18, 2013
Alumni Startup Poof! Launch Event Open to CMU Community
Like free dessert and wine? The three Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley alumni behind a new iOS app, Poof!, sure hope so. Ashwin Arun, Bash Sun-Basorun and Christopher Oentojo, all 2012 graduates of the MS Software Management program at CMU-SV are partnering with Morocco’s Restaurant in Mountain View on Tuesday, January 22nd to host an exclusive launch event with a special dessert and/or wine tasting offer for guests who mention Poof!
Poof! is designed to provide services to both its partner businesses and traditional users. On the local business side, Poof! provides a source of customer feedback and referral marketing while for users, “Poof! is the fastest and easiest way to unlock awesome shareable rewards for friends and family while discovering new and delicious restaurants,” said Oentojo.
Known among their classmates at CMU-SV as foodies, the team spent time around local merchants as both customers and employees. Those experiences led to a realization of a pain point around quantifying and improving word-of-mouth marketing. The team hopes that Poof! is the answer to that pain point. “It’s the first in-class referral program for the offline world,” explains Sun-Basorun. “We’ve had numerous local business owners in the Bay Area assert to us that they’ve never seen an approach to customer acquisition like Poof’s. Better yet, it’s an elegant and straightforward experience for the everyday consumer as well.”
The three team members met at CMU-SV and worked closely together on course projects in the inaugural class of the full-time MS Software Management program focused on software innovation and entrepreneurship. Eventually, the concept and groundwork for Poof! grew out of classes such as “The Business of Software” and “Real World Software Engineering for Entrepreneurs.” “We received great mentorship from brilliant minds like Tony Wasserman and Gladys Mercier,” said Arun.
On January 22nd, the team will unveil the Poof! app publicly for the first time at an private launch event with partner restaurant, Morocco’s, in downtown Mountain View. The team will be spending time with Morocco’s dinner patrons to introduce a referral program while also celebrating the unveiling of their product. The event is open to the CMU community and every guest who downloads Poof! or mentions Poof! will receive a free Chef’s special dessert and/or wine tasting.
Poof! is currently in a public alpha and has developed an essentials-only product to study consumer and merchant interactions to better gauge the effects of referrals on its partner businesses. The team hopes to improve user experience and expand to more local businesses in the next few months.
To learn more about Poof! and download the iOS app, visit poofapp.comEvent
Location: Morocco’s Restaurant, 873 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 22nd, 6:00-9:30 P.M.
Poof! Special: Free wine tasting/chef’s dessert for all Poof! guests