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New Orleans entrepreneurs found business opportunities in college greek life

| October 19, 2011 | Comments (3)

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Brendan Finke and Joe McMenemon moved to New Orleans to start ChapterSpot.com and are now contributing to the city’s growth.

Besides acting as a social outlet, greek organizations provide its members with leadership opportunities, mentorship, and philanthropic activities. What Brendan Finke and Joe McMenemon discovered in fraternity life at Tulane was a new business opportunity within a flawed and unorganized communication system in their chapter. So they segued that setback into ChapterSpot.

What Brendan Finke and Joe McMenemon discovered in greek life at Tulane was a flawed and unorganized communication system within their chapter and segued that opportunity into a new business venture.

ChapterSpot.com is a web application that allows fraternity and sororities to build and manage a website, maintain a membership database, and solve communication problems all on one platform.

ChapterSpot.com solves communication problems for fraternities and sororities with its web application

The greek network’s services are designed to make chapter operations more efficient and effective by integrating all the tools necessary to help an organization’s management at the national and local chapter levels. Communication obstacles are managed by creating prospective, member, and alumni databases to easily send email and text message blasts with chapter updates, event information, and reminders.   The integrated system can be used to remind members of their personal dues, keeping them updated with exactly what they owe. It also makes it easy for members to organize events, pay dues, and place t-shirt and ticket orders online through the chapter’s network with accessible online statements so they can view a breakdown of their expenses.

ChapterSpot has been growing quickly with over 1200 chapters across the country using the application, and the duo is already looking to expand the service to other organizations and markets in the near future.

Finke’s intention had always been to start his own business, and after McMenemon was unfortunately laid off during his stint in New York City’s corporate world, the two friends saw it as an opportunity to start a business partnership. The ambitious team began working on ChapterSpot’s concept two years ago, and moved back to New Orleans due to the low costs of living and the easy going lifestyle.

Although ChapterSpot is not headquartered in Launch Pad like so many other startups in the area, they have seen the growth of the entrepreneurial community in the city and are continuing to add to it in a large capacity.

“We didn’t initially start with the mindset to come to New Orleans because of the entrepreneurial spirit,” said McMenemon, on how the low cost of living and love for the city itself was an integral factor that helped them decide to move to New Orleans. “However, we realize that the expansion of businesses are key to the growth in the city, and there is no other place where we would rather be doing this.”

After being accepted into Idea Village’s accelerator program, the two confidently admit that the city is fostering the next big business that will impact the world.

“People underestimate how exciting and impactful the entrepreneurial movement in New Orleans is right now –we’re excited to be a positive force of economic growth here in New Orleans,” added McMenemon.

Like many other entrepreneurs in the city, they feel fortunate to be able to follow their passion in a city they love. What many would have found as a set back in life, the two formed into an opportunity that is vastly growing. Besides expanding their business, and contributing to the city’s growth, they hope that their involvement in the entrepreneurial community will help combat some of the Katrina stereotypes that are still notorious in the world. With so many ambitious individuals contributing to putting the Silicon Bayou on the map, there is no doubt that New Orleans will continue to overcome these misconceptions.

Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. She also showcases local start-ups such as the one profiled here through her non-profit organization GenNOLA. For more information on NolaVie, visit NolaVie.com.

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Category: College, Entrepreneurship, Idea Village, New Orleans

About Adriana Lopez: Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. View author profile.

  • http://twitter.com/dstaley Dylan Staley

    Chapterspot is definitely an interesting venture. I’m a member of an organization that uses Chapterspot, and the versatility and breadth of the Chapterspot platform is astounding. I’m proud that this came from my state!

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