Three years ago, Andy Miller (MSES ’00) saw an incredible business opportunity when he set his phone and keys on the table. Looking at his keychain, full of plastic loyalty cards, he came up with the idea for a mobile app that would consolidate all of the cards on a single platform.
Miller soon transformed his idea into a prosperous company called CardStar. It was an immediate success, and today, it has more than two million users.
To help expand the business, Miller recently sold CardStar to Constant Contact, a leading provider of online marketing tools for small businesses. The acquisition will allow CardStar to reach Constant Contact’s more than half a million customers around the world.
"We are so pleased with CardStar's success so far. Joining forces with Constant Contact accelerates our growth path and opens up new opportunities for small businesses to take advantage of our innovations in mobile, loyalty, and consumer technology,” said Miller, who will serve as Constant Contact’s director of mobile products.
Miller cites his education at Sawyer Business School, where he earned a master’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies, as playing a major role in his success. Suffolk has a unique program because it gives students the opportunity to start their own businesses and offers resources to guide them through the process, he said.
Miller also noted that having the drive and passion to be an entrepreneur is just as important as understanding business concepts. “You can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur. You have to have it in you,” he said.
Despite Miller’s hectic work schedule, he consistently makes time to give back to the Sawyer Business School. He has served as a fellow on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board since 2006 and actively engages with Suffolk students and alumni.
Miller is currently mentoring an entrepreneurship student who is launching a start-up company. He finds it rewarding to help students because he knows first-hand how difficult it is to start a company from the ground up, especially when you’re young. “When you’re in your early 20s, it’s really hard to have people take you seriously,” he said. As a mentor, Miller aims to provide a “true, in-the-trenches, real-world perspective” that you can’t get in the classroom alone.
Miller’s company has also provided internships for Suffolk students and currently employs two Suffolk graduates.
“Andy has been a key asset to our program, and his service has helped elevate our entrepreneurship program to national prominence. Andy's success, candor, and humility exemplify all that is great about our University. We get to put the ‘sold’ sign on his logo in the Entrepreneurship Resource Center in the Sawyer Business School!” said Professor George Moker, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.