There are stories in the news all of the time about successful business ventures, but Billy McFarland’s success is very special because he is so young. Yes, he did start a successful business at age 13, and another when he was a freshman college student at Bucknell.
According to INC, The Bucknell experience created a company called Spling, which is still in business, and Billy McFarland is still the CEO. Spling takes ordinary URLs and transforms them into a graphic mosaic which is more distinctive and unique, giving the URL a branding effect. Clients include Discovery and Universal.
In 2013 McFarland launched Magnises, a live social networking platform for millennials. The Black Card is the centerpiece of the model, as it is used to make available very robust discounts and perks with local restaurants, clubs, bars, travel opportunities, concerts, and events. The Black Card duplicates all the data on the member’s credit cards, and then when used, applies the discounts.
These are the places where the millennials are frequenting anyway, and Magnises is simply the grease that oils the engine of connectivity.
Millennials love to expound upon their own experiences but are just as apt to listen and learn from others. In this way, ideas, business cards, and concepts are exchanged and discussed, and relationships form that last a lifetime.
The concept is similar to the American Express model, but the focus is on the local scene, and that is just the way that millennials like it. For a $250 annual fee, a young manager, entrepreneur or professional is granted entry into an elite world of their own people.
As of the end of 2015, Magnises has already attracted over 10,000 members along with a $3 million venture capital cash infusion. Currently operating in New York City and Washington DC, the company now has concrete plans in place for expansion. Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and London are on the radar.
The business model is in place and working very well, according to McFarland, and now it is just a matter of duplicating what is working now to the other geographical locations where the need is. The largest groupings of millennials are centered in the major metro areas, and that is exactly what McFarland intends to exploit in a big way.