“Interest of the whole country”: electronic business cards for high school students take off

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A group of young business students from Christchurch never expected to run a successful business in their senior year of high school.

But since Cashmere High School students Jayden Rosanowski, Felix Strahl and Emilia Dybka launched their STAP card last year, the customer list has grown to include real estate agents and police detectives.

They even won two Young Enterprise Scheme regional excellence awards for sustainability and finance while developing partnerships with universities and billboard companies.

And 13th graders did it all before they even left high school.

“It’s taken off, we’re getting interest from across the country,” said Jayden, chief executive of STAP.

“We now have big clients, like the estate agents in Harcourt and a police inspector.

“It’s amazing to see the company take off and be part of the journey,” said production manager Felix.

STAP Card is designed to completely replace paper business cards after students discovered that more than six million trees are cut down every year to produce 100 billion disposable cards worldwide.

The reusable business card allows employees to electronically share their contact information with others using QR codes and NFC chips located in most new mobile phones.

All a customer needs to do is tap the card on their device or scan the code for the information to appear on their screen.

In keeping with the company’s philosophy of sustainability, STAP has also partnered with the non-profit organization One Tree Planted by planting a tree for every card sold.

The initiative started when business students, then in grade 12, unleashed their entrepreneurial spirit by participating in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.

It’s a chance for young people to discover the world of start-ups by running a real business, with products and services brought to market by the students themselves.

Since STAP was only meant to be a school project, Felix said its continued success was unexpected, but meeting the growing demand came at a cost.

Making 100 cards in the last six months for over 80 companies meant investing in a new $3,500 printer funded by company sales and part-time jobs – another commitment to juggle.

This sped up production from three to four cards per hour to 100 in four hours, and now everything can be done from a dedicated desk that the school let them borrow during business studies and after school. time.

“One of the coolest things was that at the beginning of the year we met a lot of business people at this event, and people were using STAP cards,” Jayden said.

But having a thriving business didn’t excuse the STAP team from going to class – they were still students, after all.

“So many people want them, so turnaround time is one of the biggest challenges and getting the cards done on time,” Felix said.

“Another challenge is advertising which we pay for ourselves. But we’ve partnered with a media company that does billboards, so we have a campaign on Moorhouse Ave promoting STAP that has 25,000 interactions. with vehicles every day.”

The STAP team has no plans to slow down anytime soon after setting its sights on the international market, especially in Japan where business cards are “a big part of the culture.”

Recently, they impressed a panel of Ara judges at the STAP card presentation, who were now interested in collaborating on a student card and employee card version.

But before venturing further into the world of business, students plan to go to the University of Canterbury or Lincoln to study commerce.

Learn more about the STAP card here.

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