Business Rx: Greek Recruits looks to expand its reach

May 22, 2011
The entrepreneur

When coming to college, most freshmen worry about the workload, their new roommates, moving away from their families and whether they’ll be able to sneak into the downtown bars. Daniel Noskin, a freshman lacrosse player at the University of Maryland, was concerned about a different aspect of his new environment: Where did he and other freshmen fit in socially? He began thinking about joining a fraternity and realized that there was a lack of information readily available to freshmen interested in pledging fraternities and sororities on campus. So, he started Greek Recruits.

The pitch

Noskin

“Greek Recruits LLC was created to fill in the void of uncertainty that incoming freshmen experience when discovering their place on a college campus. With the help of a fellow freshman, Scott Block, who designed and built the Web site, I launched GreekRecruits.com during the spring 2011 rush at the University of Maryland and it immediately became the premiere Greek recruiting network. Through unique profiles, the Web site allows students to gain the maximum amount of exposure to fraternities, sororities and coed/honors chapters during the rush process to ensure the best social fit.

“The Web site is also a great platform for fraternities and sororities to meet their pledges before rush begins. In addition to generating exposure, Greek chapters are also given an organized platform enabling them to efficiently market their society to the correct demographic.

“Greek Recruits presently does not have any competitors — no other Web site or company currently exists that facilitates Greek recruiting using an online platform. I have utilized my first mover advantages by working closely with Greek chapters at the University of Maryland to create a product that chapters actually want. Everything is free right now, but I eventually want to charge fraternities and sororities a subscription fee.

“Now that the formula has been established and popular demand has preceded its test run, Greek Recruits is currently working on our expansion to more colleges for the fall 2011 rush. My goal is to become the sole networking site for Greek recruiting, so how do I market Greek Recruits to other colleges? I do guerrilla marketing at the University of Maryland using fliers, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. How do you recommend I market at a college or university where I do not reside?”

The advice

Harry Geller, entrepreneur-in-residence, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

“I like the idea of you finding a ‘Greek Champion’ at different colleges to act as a campus representative for Greek Recruits. I know you are heavily involved with lacrosse and other activities, so while this could be an effective method, you might not have the resources right now to find these representatives. I suggest you hire a marketing representative to work on spreading the word to other colleges.

“Look for professional Greek organizations as well as the social ones. There are 160 Greek organizations at this university, so be sure to look at each one as a potential subscriber. Make sure you use all of your potential resources as well. Place ads in the the school newspaper, post fliers across campus — get the word out, especially right before rush week. Greek Recruits won’t be a huge moneymaker unless you are able to scale it, both at this university and colleges and universities nationwide. If you can get in at a few more schools, I think everyone is going to want this.

“Don’t forget that all fraternities and sororities have national headquarters. Try to sell Greek Recruits from that angle. And don’t be afraid to look outside of Greek life. What other recruiting-centric organizations are out there? Leverage the concept of GreekRecruits.com and sell the idea to other organizations with heavy recruiting.

The reaction

Noskin

“We are definitely working on getting the word out about Greek Recruits. We’ve talked to someone at the Interfraternity Council about participating in an event or two at summer orientation. I also like the idea of talking to other recruiting-centric organizations. That could be a good way to expand my business. U-Md. has 25,000 undergraduates and I’d like at least a quarter of them to eventually use my site.”

Geller

“If you have a contact in the council at the University of Maryland, leverage that contact to get you in with the national interfraternity council. Use all of your contacts to your advantage and network when you can — that will definitely help you get the word out.”

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