Students turned entrepreneurs create website app with help from WMU business accelerator

     May at Starting Gate accelerator

Hunting for that perfect restaurant bargain can feel like a chore at times but thanks to Xcheapskate, a custom food and drink price tracker, it just got a little bit easier.

Western Michigan University students Daniel J. May and David Selden-Treiman were tired of scouring the Internet for daily food and drink specials every time they wanted to go out with friends. “As college students, we’re often broke. Xcheapskate makes bargain hunting for restaurant and bar prices easy, and by saving people money, we allow them to go out more,” says co-founder May, senior, double majoring in management and finance and commercial law.

Executing the idea for the web application was made easier through a new student business accelerator, Starting Gate, a program that gives students rich and valuable resources to develop their startup companies. The mentor-based accelerator provides a fast-track to business launch and offers an array of resources to student entrepreneurs ready to accomplish their business goals.

“When we heard about Starting Gate, we thought it was a great opportunity for students and would provide great resources for Xcheapskate such as media exposure, guidance from a mentor and interaction with potential investors,” says May. Open 24 hours per day, members of Starting Gate participate in regular update nights, interact with faculty members and local entrepreneurs, and develop a robust network of contacts and connections.

With the motto “spend less, live more,” Xcheapskate aims to save users time and money. Using geo-location, the app allows diners to enter the food they want and the price they are willing to pay. Then, with a click of a button, it will show the number of food items available in the area meeting their criteria. As the website notes, “Whether you're trying to find the best place for a cold beer or a cheap date for two, Xcheapskate is on your side.”

With long hours, meetings and demanding schedules, it is a challenge starting a business while being full-time students; but for May and Treiman, it is all worthwhile in the end. “Even though running a business while in school is hard, we understand that the skills the Haworth College of Business provides us will inevitably help us succeed.”

Read more about Xcheapskate and Starting Gate:  

mLive

Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave