Tuesday, September 18

UCLA Anderson School of Management students start SwoopOff to offer discounts in L.A.


Anderson students create Web site offering students coupons at restaurants and events

Anderson student Ron Yang is a founder of Swoopoff.com, a new Web site where students can print coupons for restaurants, bars, shows and other local events.

Anderson student Ron Yang is a founder of Swoopoff.com, a new Web site where students can print coupons for restaurants, bars, shows and other local events. Max Chang


UCLA students will soon have a new way to make exploring Los Angeles more affordable, as two students from the UCLA Anderson School of Management are launching a new Web site aimed at helping students obtain discounts.

SwoopOff.com will launch on Feb. 1 and will allow students to print coupons for discounts to restaurants, bars, salons shows and other events in West Los Angeles.

“We get discounts through the power of group buying. We negotiate with local businesses to offer discounts in exchange for the agreement that we will get a certain number of people to sign up for the deal, which doesn’t go on until we get that number of people,” student Ron Yang said.

Yang came up with the idea for the Web site after planning events at bars and restaurants as a social chair at the Anderson School.

He is launching the company with business partner Ricky Taiaroa, also a student at the Anderson School.

“After planning events, I realized that when you are bringing a lot of people to a bar, event or restaurant they are much more willing to offer discounts because you are bringing them so much business,” Yang said.

Yang and Taiaroa have contacted local businesses and arranged which discounts will be available on SwoopOff but are keeping them secret until Feb. 1.

SwoopOff.com will make a profit by taking between 20 and 50 percent of the money that large groups of students will bring to a business. Students will not have to pay to be part of the Web site.

Yang said that business owners have responded positively to being approached to offer discounts for SwoopOff.

“They think it is an innovative way to advertise and like that there is no up front payment unlike other types of advertising,” he said.

SwoopOff will give UCLA students the opportunity to explore Los Angeles without worrying as much about their budget, Taiaroa said.

“I think that students would do more if there was a discount. This gives a great incentive for college kids as we don’t have a ton of money,” said Jillian Schuchert, a second-year physiological science student.

Yang said establishing the business has been challenging, but his training at the Anderson School has helped to prepare him.

“There have been challenges outside the direct realm of the product that do not seem obvious beforehand, like bookkeeping. But talking to my colleagues at Anderson and taking a class on business development has definitely helped me,” he added.

Yang and Taiaroa will be at the UCLA Undergraduate Business Society Career Fair on Jan. 19 looking for marketing and development interns for SwoopOff.

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