Entrepreneurs Sana Virji, 23 and Ribat Chowdhury, 24, started their journey as international students at Trent University—Virji is from Pakistan, Chowdhury from Bangladesh.
This talented duo now call Peterborough home, and are building an impressive startup here called Ribitt.
Virji (at left) and Chowdhury at Peterborough Chamber's LoveLocalPtbo show
Ribitt is a free mobile app that provides coupons from local businesses, ranging from restaurants to retail stores. Users no longer have to worry about finding, printing and clipping coupons. Instead, a simple scan at the participating outlet is all they have to do to receive their discount.
With technology dramatically changing the way we consume information and shop, Ribitt serves as another digital platform option for businesses to reach and engage with consumers.
Ribitt mascot rocking downtown Peterborough
Ribitt app was only launched a few weeks ago, and already has about 1,200 installs.
"We have been compared to the likes of Groupon and WagJag, whose model is based on group buying and revenue cuts from businesses," Virji tells PTBOCanada. "On Ribitt, all coupons are free; users download the free app and walk in to the local participating store to redeem. With no revenue sharing, businesses can participate on Ribbet with a one-time subscription."
Ribitt's branding and marketing efforts have been impressive—from their name to logo to social media to creating a mascot, Ribitt the Frog, who hops around town telling the Ribitt story. "The mascot gave the brand life while attracting attention and gaining visibility," Virji tells PTBOCanada.
It was a natural choice to launch Ribitt here in Peterborough, the team says. "This city is becoming a fast adapter of technology," says Virji. "With numerous start-ups growing in the region, we know Peterborough is the place to be."
Virji adds that the Innovation Cluster's The Cube—which recognizes and is helping put the city on the map as an innovation hub—has been vital in helping Ribitt in incubating and developing their brand.
Virji and Chowdhury also plan to expand Ribitt to other cities in Canada. Indeed, they are already starting to expand into Kingston—which shares similarities to Peterborough's market (think demographics, university population, bustling downtown and size).
After Peterborough and Kingston, they will be rolling into other cities gradually. "Our mission is to be in every small to mid-sized city in Canada and beyond," says Virji.
The have the creative ingenuity, work ethic, passion and resources to make that happen.