Billy McFarland is one on those people who can see the vision and bring that vision to fruition. At age 13 he formed his first business which found customers for a local business.
While he was a freshman at Bucknell University, he started a company called Spling which is still in business to this day. It takes the URL of a company and transforms it into a graphic which is more attractive and helps in the branding of the company. He is CEO, and the company enjoys a robust clientele that includes Universal and Discovery.
According to BuzzFeed, still in his 20s in 2013, Billy McFarland incubated Magnises, a venue for millennials to bond together and enjoy perks and discounts at their favorite restaurants, clubs, bars, events and other venues. Millennials tend to group together to share ideas, make contacts, and socialize at many of these sites, and the ability to receive perks and discounts has launched Magnises in a mighty way.
It all happens because of the membership card called the “Black Card.” The card transfers the information from the member’s credit or debit card onto the Black Card’s magnetic strip. The Black Card is then used for payment at the various member businesses, and the discount is automatically applied. All this for the modest membership fee of $250.
The success of Magnises is unprecedented for by the end of 2015 there were already over 10,000 members and counting. Membership has become somewhat of a prestige item, as it gives people something to talk about and is a great perk. The target demographic is the grouping of young professionals, managers, entrepreneurs, workers in IT and the fashion industry between the ages of 21 and 35.
There is a screening both new members and new businesses. New members must complete an online application form to be then approved by management. McFarland wants to be sure that participating companies are on board with the concept of giving members special treatment in addition to the discounts.
With a recent cash investment of $3 million from a venture capitalist, McFarland has expansion plans. Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and London are target cities, as McFarland has the business model that works, and it is time to offer it in other lucrative markets.