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Student e-commerce site catches CNNMoney's eye

If you’ve bought a four-pound can of tuna at a warehouse store, you know buying in bulk pays off. But what if you want the discount but not the bulk?

Enter NumbersPay, launched in May by four Bates students and the latest entry in the very popular group-buying sector of online commerce. The site was recently profiled among “six hot dorm-room startups” by CNNMoney.

Like other group-buying sites, NumbersPay brings together buyers who are interested in an item — say, an iPod docking station. What distinguishes NumbersPay, its founders say, is a tiered price structure: The more buyers in the group, the less each ultimately pays. The site also lets consumers suggest products.

NumbersPay is the second recent e-commerce site started by Bates students to gain national attention, after Elliott Moskow ’10 founded Pricefalls, a Dutch auction site, in 2009. And, of the six startups profiled by CNNMoney, half have NESCAC connections.

NumbersPay’s co-founders are Matthew Conetta ’12, a history major from Ridgewood, N.J.; Stephen Pecora ’11, an economics major from Wyckoff, N.J.; Darren Cromwell ’12, an American cultural studies major from Lincoln, Mass.; and Cosmin Ghita ’12, a politics and Russian major from Bucharest, Romania.

The two Jersey guys have been friends since kindergarten, and Conetta’s first-year roommates in Smith Hall were Cromwell and Ghita.

When it came time to hash out ideas, the social science majors headed to Pettengill Hall, their business incubator of sorts, spending hours in their academic department lounges.  “Nothing beats Pettengill. We can have conference calls without bothering people,” says Conetta.

Conetta says that he, Cromwell and Ghita will work to grow the startup during their senior year (as will Pecora, now graduated and taking business courses).

The three seniors are ready for the juggling act of studies and startup. “Between the work load and learning how to multitask, Bates has taught us well,” Conetta says.



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