Using Universities to Build, Measure, Learn

This is a Guest Post by Kurt Gallant, Co-Founder of Pulls


Being young has many benefits. The greatest of those benefits is having time to recover from missteps and wrong decisions. This fits in well with the startup mantra – Build, Measure, Learn. Often times, startups measure themselves by how quickly the team can churn through cycles of learning. Move fast and ask questions later. That’s one of the reasons I was attracted to software and why I joined Pulls.Full

We wanted to create a promotions platform that was not nudging customers with spam and automated messages but Pulls is a marketing solution to a problem that our Co-Founder, David, experienced for years in the retail space. How can a manager quickly and conveniently scale promotions to customers without the need to manage a contact list or engage followers? pulled customers to stores with personal ultra-high value offers. Through team empowerment Pulls allows the service, floor and back office staff, to deliver offers to their social circles.

We know we have a valuable idea but as we jumped hurdles and hacked our way through problems, we had one issue that continued to give us fits. Once we finish development, what is our platform going to cost? Is it a service? Is it subscription? Do we charge per user? Per company?

We kept pushing this issue to the bottom of our list, until Cintrifuse asked us to collaborate with Miami University. They were looking for two startups with a problem that a team of MBA students from the university could work on and develop a solution for.

Over the course of three weeks, we had a series of meetings and phone calls to inform the students about our product and our issue. This culminated with presentations from each team.
As nothing ever goes smoothly, there was a lull in communication for the week leading up to the presentations – this led to our team questioning whether or not the students understood our product. We worried that they would not be able to meet our needs.

Patients is key, however, and both teams came up with unique and different solutions that helped us with our issue.

  • The first team focused on creating a simple and transparent pricing strategy that was easy for us to manage and inexpensive to customers to adopt.
  • The second team went a different route altogether – given our lack of data, the team opted to build us a pricing optimization tool. As we approach customers and they begin to use our data, we now have a place to build a historical model to optimize our pricing.

Both of these solutions provided the Pulls team with valuable tools and insights we can use in the future. Our interaction with these students gave us a baseline for pricing and a possible tool to test and model pricing as we move forward. Working with Miami University and Cintrifuse allowed us to expand the ability of our team and provided us with valuable insights about our product, where it fits into the market and potential options for pivots.

If you want to learn more about Pulls Referral Marketing, visit us at or follow us @GetPulls.


1f261f2Kurt Gallant is the Co-Founder of Pulls, where they are working to make marketing personal. Kurt spent the beginnings of his professional career as a Business Development Manager in the Point of Sale and retail technologies industry. Outside of the office, Kurt enjoys: playing soccer, cycling & a beer with friends.






Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Ready for startup support? Join Cintrifuse membership.

Apply Now