Sample Application

Check out the sample application put together by the ZIP Launchpad staff below.

Click on the section headings below to see what we look for on an application. If you have any questions please email [email protected]

Apply Now

Never leave your wallet, phone, or keys behind again with this customized and trackable card and keys storage solution that pairs with your device.

What is the pain point that you are alleviating with your idea?

The pain point we would like to address is associated with the anxiety and frustration of leaving your phone, car keys, or wallet. These items are essential to interacting and communicating with the world around us. The loss of one or more of these items cause anxiety, frustration, waste of time, and poses a threat to your financial and personal security.
While there have been a few changes, this space presents a large opportunity for innovation.

What is the customer group that MOST experiences this pain point?

The customer group that experiences this on a regular basis is a college student aged 18-22 who is actively involved with 2 or more clubs or organizations beyond their academics and finds themselves multitasking on a regular basis. This lifestyle exponentially increases the odds of leaving one or more essential items behind.

We believe college students are most affected by this problem, but agree that other heavy multitaskers on the go like moms, high school students, and working professionals also likely experience this problem on a regular basis.

Why is this a significant problem for your customer? Please provide convincing data that this problem NEEDS to be solved.

The “Lost and Found” study, conducted by Pixie Inc, states that the average American spends 2.5 days each year looking for lost items collectively costing U.S. households $2.7 B annually in replacement costs. It states that behind the TV remote, cell phones and car keys are the most commonly lost items in American households.

After interviewing 12 SDSU students, we learned the following:

  • All 12 have experienced anxiety from leaving their wallet, car keys or phone behind.  
  • One person told a story of how losing their keys caused them to be late to a mid-term and impacted their grade in the class.  
  • Another student told a story about being unable to sleep for a few days after losing their keys
  • 8 of the students interviewed said they have started to use a virtual wallet but still need something small and compact for their physical items. 
  • 6 of the students interviewed said that they would be available for further interviews as we continue investigating a solution and provided their contact information.  
  • 2 of the students said they wished they could do everything on their phone

What is your solution and how does your solution matches your customer’s needs? Please focus on the benefits rather than the features.

It’s clear with the introduction of Apple Pay, etc. that the wallet’s function has shifted. However, college students still need to be able to carry to their keys, money and other cards that are yet not digitized.
This solution is comprised of two parts: a software application and a physical storage solution.
The physical portion allows the user to go from three items (phone, wallet, keys) down to two (phone and wallet). Using latest 3D printing flexible materials, we will offer modular storage that can be customized based on our customer’s unique needs such as type and number of keys, card storage capacity and the inclusion of cash and/or change as well as color and design elements.
The software portion allows for customer’s storage to be wirelessly tethered to their phone so the physical “wallet” will not be left behind and can be easily located.  
Our solution allows the multitasking college student to reduce their anxiety and frustration caused by leaving their essentials behind whether it be at their apartment,  classroom, or elsewhere on or off campus.

What makes your solution unique?

First, the physical part of our solution is essentially an elastic pocket with varying thickness options to meet the needs for their remaining non-digital wallet items such as college id and gym card. Then 3D printed key case is mounted on top that will be molded to fit each customer unique key shapes and amounts. A Bluetooth tracker will be located inside the lining of the pocket.
Second, the app will be able to locate items and the paired phone with “wallet” from separating from you or each other. The technology for this exists but the combination is unique In addition, the app will act as a digital wallet for your campus electronic cards (meal card, book store, id) and interface seamlessly with other digital wallet options.

How do you intend to make money?

The purchase of the customized storage will enable the free download of the application.
The application will be free-mium based - basic location services offered at no cost and premium services offered through a monthly subscription

Problems can be solved in many ways, if you have other potential solutions to your problem please list them below.

An additional solution includes a tracking concierge service. Customers could apply Bluetooth stickers on all of their essential items and receive tracking updates as soon as those items are not within close range of the customer.
Another potential solution is digitizing all essential wallet items and keys and developing a software application that can store these essentials in one place.

Please format answers as follows:
Who is your competitor? (Competition includes any products/services/methods that your customer uses to solve this problem.)
How do they currently address your customer’s pain point?
How does your solution uniquely address your customer’s pain point in comparison?

Competitor 1:

Walli is a trackable wallet that utilizes RFID technology and pairs with an app so you know where it is at all times. Our solution is unique to Walli because it not only allows you to keep track of your wallet belongings but also your keys, another critical belonging that is prone to get lost

Competitor 2:

Digital Wallets (Apple Pay, Paytm, eWallet, Venmo)
Digital wallets store virtual payment options for customers. Customers are able to process payments through an app on their mobile phone.
Our solution is unique because it allows customers to still carry essential items that an app cannot sufficiently store (ie: identification, cash, credit cards). Our solution also allows the tracking capability to eliminate the stress associated with misplacing essential items that apps cannot store.

Competitor 3:

Tile is a Bluetooth enabled tag that allows customers to keep track of essential items through a software application.
Our solution is unique because it not only provides similar tracking benefits as Tile but also addresses customers’ needs for a customized, modular wallet to carry their specific essential items.

Competitor 4:

Customizable Wallets (Fossil, Etsy, etc.)
Custom wallet offerings via Fossil, Etsy and other brands involve the aesthetic customization of traditional wallets. These customizations are limited to engravings and personalized designs.
Our solution is unique to these customized wallets because it addresses customers needs more effectively by allowing the customization of wallet size, structure, and security.

Competitor 5:

Traditional wallets (Luxury, casual, and sports brands)
Traditional wallets include a wide variety of physical wallets in different shapes, sizes and materials. Traditional wallets allow customers to store their cash, checks, credit cards, coins, and other valuable items. The wallets typically offer a variety of sleeves, zipper pouches and/or other secure holders.
Our solution is unique because it provides customers with a customized modular wallet that is specific to each customer’s storage needs. The wallet also pairs with a software application that provides tracking capabilities so customers know where their essentials are at all times.

Why has this not been done before? What makes this possible now?

The fabrication process of 3D printing is now becoming an economically viable manufacturing process, which will allow our company to produce customized wallets to suit the needs of each customer who purchases our product. In addition, we are capitalizing on the trend of Bluetooth trackers which is at a peak interest according to google trends. The combination of this interest and state of technology is the reason why older companies who attempted similar endeavors have failed and why our startup will succeed.

Tell us about your team’s passion for solving this problem

We have personally misplaced our phones, wallet, and keys on numerous occasions. After learning the average American spends 60 hours a year searching for lost items, we felt especially compelled to address this stressful and anxiety-ridden issue. We want to solve this problem for ourselves as well as bring peace of mind to others.

Whenever attempting to solve a problem, it is always important to consider what skill set your team will need to be successful. Please explain what competencies you require to solve the problem and how your team currently maps to the skillset.

To solve the problem outlined above, we will need someone experienced in application development, a marketing person experienced in brand development and social media and a designer will experience in product design.
Our team brings marketing experience and will need to recruit the other competencies to the team.

How can your idea be feasibly created within the SDSU campus environment? What do you see as the biggest challenge to implementation and what can you do to overcome the challenge?

Yes, we believe we can implement the solution utilizing resources at SDSU.
We believe that we can recruit the experience we need from fellow students to design, test and market the product. The biggest challenge will be the virtual card. To overcome this, we will focus the first product on pairing the phone with the sleek wallet without any e-cards. Through on-campus partnerships (book store, meal card, arc, etc) we will slowly add virtual items and later move on to incorporating other “off-campus” cards.

The ZIP Launchpad is seeking program participants who are passionate about problem solving and have identified an opportunity to BETTER solve a problem and create a competitive business.

We welcome:

  • Ideas for for-profit and non-profit organizations as well as social enterprises
  • Solutions involving hardware, software and/or consumer products
  • Solutions that better solve problems than existing competition

Common Mistakes

  • Not seeking guidance via office hours or the Application Workshop(s)
  • Submitting an incomplete application
  • One sentence responses with little to no detail
  • Lack of evidence or data to support claims

Application Grading Rubric