2Sway: A Student-run Business on the Rise

University of Leeds student Finn Blakeney discusses his innovative new app, 2Sway, offering students hundreds of discounts at local businesses.

Have you ever complained about how nights out are way too expensive? 2Sway is a new app, launching exclusively in Leeds, with the mission to make life cheaper for students. To do this, we have partnered with restaurants, bars, and clubs all over Leeds, and are offering students up to 60% off food & drink. 

From inception to launch, the idea has been about a combination of two things: how much we hate ulterior motives in influencer marketing, and how we can give you the largest student discounts ever seen. 

Because of the vast amounts of information and advertising clutter students see, we are becoming less receptive to influencer marketing. #AD has now become synonymous with people promoting businesses that they don’t necessarily care about so they can receive money. Students switch off instantaneously to most influencer marketing campaigns because they have such a high percentage of fake and disingenuous messages. We aren’t content with this being the future of marketing, so we have set about creating an app that has nothing in common with influencer marketing, and helps businesses reach the student market in a 100% authentic way. 

When students post the restaurants, bars, and clubs they’re at on their social media stories, they’re inadvertently endorsing these places. 2Sway rewards this organic behaviour for the positive impact it has on businesses. On the app, a student will select which venue they want a discount at, post on their story (just including the businesses location tag), and then claim their discount. Ultimately, 2Sway was created to reward students for sharing the places they genuinely like and go to.

A strict rule, on only partnering with brands we know students will enjoy, has ensured that 2Sway is about connecting students to discounts at the places they love. We can offer students such big discounts at such exciting brands because we are offering them something precious: your influence, something that finally doesn’t rely on targeted artificial advertising and company social media pages (which are notorious for low engagement and consistently average results). By working with you to create an offering that makes sense for businesses, we have been able to dwarf competitor apps offerings for discounts on food & drink. (p.s… sorry Unidays). 

Being a student-run business, we’re aiming to become not only an active voice for students, but to enforce positive changes within the student community. Starting with combatting the rise in spiking cases, we want to protect students from such intolerable acts. From January 7th, when 2Sway launches on the App Store, we will distribute an anti-spiking lid to one of our partners every time a student redeems a discount using 2Sway from January to March. Looking into the future, we’ll be researching and learning about the best ways we can make a tangible difference in students’ lives, specifically the issue of drink spiking and a multitude of other issues students face.