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E R I E R E G I O N A L C H A M B E R A N D G R O W T H PA R T N E R S H I P

four for the future Erie entrepreneurs and students gear up for the future

PROUD INVESTOR

M-Dot Network On the “Dot” – A Tech Company Reshapes a Good Idea Into a Better One

M-Dot Network mediates between three iconic nexuses of the 21st century economy: consumers, mobile telephony and the Internet. On the buyer’s side, the company’s technology allows consumers to receive digital coupons via mobile phone. On the retailer’s side, M-Dot enables the retailer to redeem coupons from multiple digital coupon issuers at the point of sale in real-time. “Our original idea was a mobile technology company, rather than a retail technology concept,” says M-Dot CEO Bill Catania. “What we had was a private label mobile phone capable of accruing free air time or for perks that would generate coupons that you’d get nowhere else. Nowhere did we solve the redemption problem.” It was a problem that caused the founders to reassess their proposition and discover a new opportunity in the process. “We were competing with cell phone companies like TracFone and Virgin,” he says, “so we went back and looked at problems facing paper coupons. How do you make the event of clicking on the coupon an event that’s auditable and trackable and how do you get it to inject into the point-of-sale system at the register?”

eriepa.com

| By John Chacona

“You can take Erie talent and compete on a global stage. I hope we showed that you can do it here.” The solution was impressive enough that the company won the 2010 Amazon Web Services Start-Up Challenge, and received $100,000 in cash and AWS credits. More importantly, M-Dot won clients, including a Federal contract for processing electronic coupons in 255 Defense Department Commissaries in 13 countries, the third-largest redeemer of coupons behind Wal-Mart and Kroger. “We had access to great talent here,” Catania says. “You can take Erie talent and complete on a global stage. I hope we showed that you can do it here.” 4 mdotnetwork.com

FOUR FOR THE FUTURE

25

Profile for Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

ERIE Magazine | April 2011  

Special Edition - 2011 Celebration of Excellence - Erie's Pioneers of Technology

ERIE Magazine | April 2011  

Special Edition - 2011 Celebration of Excellence - Erie's Pioneers of Technology

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