Kirtus Dixon, co-founder and CEO of GroupCharger was selected as one of the five Capital Factory 2011 Finalists. He pitched his company to investors during Austin Startup Week at the Capital Factory’s sold-out event Demo Day 2011.
Dixon’s company, GroupCharger, seeks to get alumni more actively involved and donating to their Alma Maters through its first web application called AlumniCharger. But that’s not an easy task.
For example, Oklahoma University has an alumni base of roughly 300,000, but only 8 percent give back every year, Dixon said. The university is using GroupCharger’s app to increase engagement with its alumni, Dixon said. The app finds alumni on social networks and then sends event information, invitations and introductions to other area alumni.
“Alumni who stay in touch with their schools after graduation are three times more likely to give back,” Dixon said.
Higher education institutions receive $30 billion in contributions annually and universities spend $2.4 billion on technology to engage alumni, Dixon said. The market is huge with 1.5 million alumni clubs, 55,000 alumni associations and each university spending, on average, $125,000 a year to market to alumni.
GroupCharger launched its beta version in July and it has 20 customers including the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University. They pay $500 for the service, Dixon said.
GroupCharger is seeking to raise $200,000 in venture capital and already has $75,000 committed, Dixon said. It needs the money to expand to 40 universities which will be its break even mark to profitability, Dixon said.