They say that 'necessity is the mother of invention' - and this definitely rang true for Master of Computing students Divyanshu Chauhan and Jaspreet Singh. The pair came up with the idea for their start up business 'LoyalT' at a coffee shop, when Jaspreet was hunting through his wallet for his loyalty rewards card.
Divyanshu describes the business model as "a personalised loyalty program for businesses. We were so fed up carrying all these punch cards, and we realised there was no app for it".
Upon further research, Divyanshu said they discovered that there was a gap in the market. "There are already apps for scanning in your flybys and updating them, but there was no app to help them [businesses] make their own personalised loyalty program".
"We are managing cards for the shops, and we are managing cards for the user as well. You don't have to install multiple apps, and you don't have to carry multiple cards" said Jaspreet.
Both entrepreneurs completed their undergraduate degrees in India, and came to The Australian National University (ANU) to Canberra to work, and continue their study with a Masters of Computing at ANU.
The pair met as serendipitously as the inception of their business idea. They both worked part time at CSIRO, and by chance were also placed at the same company (Canberra start up Aristotle) through the ANU Computer Science Internship Program.
Both said that the Internship Program helped them make their goal of a starting a business a reality.
"ANU helped by giving me the exposure to the start-up culture, seeing other people starting their own businesses gives you a boost, and show that you can also do it" said Divyanshu.
Jaspreet said that the program "helped us by giving us a platform, you're learning new things every day. It helped me shape my perspective of doing software development, and that helped us in building a business".
Dr Qing Wang, Senior Lecturer at the ANU School of Computer Science, says this directly delivers on the goals of the internship.
“The internship program provides our students with opportunities to explore real-world learning and entrepreneurship experiences. This is a great exemplar of the distinct values embodied in our internships, such as professionalism, networking and self-development.”
In the near future Divyanshu and Jaspreet the pair hope to grow the business, and explore opportunities to build upon their skills and knowledge.