GetChimp card coming to fruition 

Yes, we have no bananas, but we do have a green way to save

By Russ Cooper

For three (past and present) Concordia students, their summer wasn’t much about monkeying around — it was about putting their business plan for the GetChimp card into action.

For $2, anyone can buy the card from their website that’ll provide discounts at over 80 Montreal-area restaurants, stores and services. For businesses listing themselves with the project, it provides the opportunity for online advertising to cut down print ads and coupons that waste paper.

GetChimp developers (left to right) Patrick Donovan, Jonathon Marcogliese and Gianfranco Silvaggio. Magnifying glass

GetChimp developers (left to right) Patrick Donovan, Jonathon Marcogliese and Gianfranco Silvaggio.

The card is the brainchild of recent JMSB grad Gianfranco Silvaggio, leisure sciences grad Patrick Donovan and current computer engineering undergrad Jonathan Marcogliese. The project was launched in May, but was in the works for about a year prior. In fact, the idea received significant attention during its development stage; in February, the business plan was among the top 12 in the 2009 Enterprize Canada Business Plan Competition in Vancouver, Canada’s largest student-run business plan competition.

Wanting to hit the ground running when he graduated this past spring, Silvaggio and his partners worked hard to get the project going during his last semester, and it’s paying off. The trio has seen an escalating response from consumers and businesses, and is in negotiations with numerous student associations (here at Concordia as well as other CEGEPs and Montreal universities) for distribution during events through the year. Funds raised would be donated directly to the associations connected to the event.

Beyond the slightly perplexing name (“It doesn’t really mean much. It’s more a marketing thing than anything else. You remember it, don’t you?” says Silvaggio), some might find it just as perplexing starting a business in the doldrums of a recession.

“Actually, we started this because of recession,” says Silvaggio. “We started this to create an online directory for discounts, and since each card is individually numbered and trackable, we hope to one day be able to provide the cardholder with a detailed outline of their spending habits.”

The project is positioning itself as a green way to save money. The card itself is made of recycled plastic, and site offers tips to help the environment. As well, the venture is donating 10% of its profits to TreeCanada to plant trees. To date, the project has raised enough to plant 125 trees here in Quebec.


Concordia University