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UC Student Startup Explores New Ways to Connect Businesses with Their Local Communities


In this challenging time, brands and businesses are looking for ways to better connect with the local community, while community members have an eye towards being able to save more money. The DavisCard, an exciting product launched by a team of UC students, is answering both calls. 

Davis, California – The idea of a membership club is not a new one. This concept is something that holds a broader appeal than ever, considering the spectrum of recent events that have been extremely stressful to both people and businesses’ financial circumstances. It is becoming clear that having a smart alternative is a must.

For the extended Davis community, these issues are being addressed in an exciting and functional way. The startup does not just create a win-win game for both customers and businesses, but also helps non-members of the community who are economically disadvantaged.

Enter the DavisCard

The DavisCard is a UC student startup, founded by Jiaming(Johnny) Mai and co-founded by Zhuoqun Han, Lei Han, Hexi Huang and Weishen Liu with a total of 12 students from different UC campuses working on the team as members.

DavisCard provides an O2O subscription service that allows its members to save up to 15% and receive special member benefits at participating top-rated local businesses while helping those in need.

Since its launch, DavisCard has had a quite large positive impact delivering great value to over 35% of UC Davis students’ population with in-demand deals on dining out and other local services.

“We are opening the door to a smart, innovative way for local businesses to build brands and maximize profit. This is vital. Data has shown the importance of brand building and it is something we want to share with the business partners who work with us. Every business should have a brand, no matter how small or big they are,” DavisCard founder Jiaming Mai told Yahoo Finance.

“Buying traffic from social media without planning is short-sighted. The value of DavisCard is to help local businesses to build brand connections by establishing long-term member relationships,” said Mai. This is all while DavisCard enhances the lifestyle of our members. The more they dine out, the more discounts they get. It’s a win for all concerned. For every Premium Davis Card purchased, the startup donates food and other much-needed items to someone less fortunate through Davis Community Meals and Housing with the aim of giving back to the community.

Right now, the DavisCard is saving its average member $639 a year in discounts. This number is expected to grow as the card’s reach expands. 

How DavisCard got its start

When Jiaming first attended UC Davis as a freshman in 2017, he decided to found a product manager club with some of his friends. He quickly realized as the founder of the young club that getting sponsorship fell on his shoulders as his major responsibility.

This was not anything approaching easy. In fact, after approaching ten local businesses not one would say yes to sponsoring the club. The team turned towards identifying what the blocks to success were and how they could be overcome.

Jiaming and co-founders Lei Han and Zhuoqun’s eyes were opened to the realities faced by local business owners. They needed to advertise to get around the intense local competition in nearly every category and they needed trust in who they were working with. Things like taking out ads on Yelp and Facebook just were not enough.

This knowledge and understanding helped formulate the concept of DavisCard. Jiaming has called its mission to “become the Costco of the local E-commerce industry”. This is something that both members and businesses can understand the value of so both have jumped to join after the startup launched last year. In DavisCard’s eyes, this means only partnering with local businesses with the best of reputations while helping its customers get the best deals possible. Members should be able to trust if a restaurant is participating, that it has high standards that can be trusted.

DavisCard: Strength in diversity

There’s a great deal that can be learned, so far, from DavisCard. The startup team being so diverse is something the team credits for its success and ability to be able to face and overcome some of its early challenges. This is also an endorsement of DavisCard drawing team members from across UC campuses, something which has delivered a broader vision which is paying off.

Some examples include DavisCard has experienced programmers from UC Berkeley, designers from UC San Diego, and student members from across the United States. All of this makes building deeper relationships with members from broad backgrounds much simpler and more authentic. It has also earned DavisCard an official endorsement of the UC Davis Startup Center, an honor the team takes very seriously.

What is in the DavisCard future?

While the challenges and uncertainty being presented by COVID-19 cannot be denied, DavisCard is approaching this smartly, as best they can. To include doing its best to help participating restaurants many of them who have been devastated by the pandemic and its resulting lockdowns and social distancing. These shutdowns will be phased out and things will become brighter, without any doubt.

An exciting element of the DavisCard near future vision is its expansion nationwide. This has been a big part of the plan for the startup since Day 1. However, competition is faced from the other side of the country in a competitor called Foodie Card, founded in 2018 who recently raised 1.5 million dollars comes to mind. Far from a need for worry, DavsCard welcomes this challenge as an opportunity to perform to the highest degree as it moves forward.

Contact Info
Company name: Grand Prospect Technology INC

Official email:
Concerned person: Jiaming Mai

Company city: San Francisco, CA

Company country: USA
Company website:
Contact Number: +415-321-2123

Source: DavisCard

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