May Student Spotlight
College of Business seniors Eric Degen (Management-Entrepreneurship) and Chris Poncsak (Marketing-Sales) are the co-founders of ChapterEase, a software management system that addresses the unique chapter management needs for fraternities and sororities.
The idea for ChapterEase was born out of their own experiences in hardships as the president and social chair of their fraternity, Sigma Nu (Theta Kappa chapter). Degen, from Canton, Georgia, was the first president after the fraternity reorganized. It now has 92 active members and nearly 1,000 alumni members. They noticed that many fraternities and sororities were using a patchwork of various smartphone apps to try to plan, communicate, and coordinate a variety of activities from socials, to philanthropic activities, to study hall, and voting.
“Administrating and leading nearly one hundred 18-23 year-olds, when you are 18-23 years old, is very hard work,” says Poncsak, from Lawrenceville, Georgia. ChapterEase combines these features, and more, into one software management platform that allows a chapter’s leadership to interact with its members and simplify communication, organization, and accountability.
They have been working closely with a faculty advisor, Dr. Steve Stewart, in the department of management, and have participated in a number of activities sponsored and hosted by the Business Innovation Group to further develop their product. They participated in 3-Day Startup (3DS) in February in which they began customer discovery activities, along with a great team comprised of Gabby Howard and Luke Panosian. As one of the top teams in 3-Day Startup, the team continued to Fastpitch Savannah, sponsored by the Business Innovation Group and Creative Coast.
The pair has been engaging in customer development with a working prototype, conducting customer surveys and testing the product with fraternities and sororities at Georgia Southern. They are currently developing a full-scale beta version, working with another team they met at 3DS, led by Chase Walker and Corey Robinson.
“We’re very thankful for all the support we’ve received from parents, friends, and fraternity brothers,” says Degen. They have devoted their entire summer to developing their product, and will complete the beta version in time to demonstrate ChapterEase to the 67th Grand Chapter National Conference of Sigma Nu in San Diego in July.
Posted in Entrepreneur Spotlight, In the News, Teaching and Learning
Tags: 3DS, ChapterEase, Christopher Poncsak, Eric Degen, fraternityh, greeklife management, Software, Sorority