OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | TeamWise: Topl
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TeamWise: Topl

Topl is redefining how customers interact with merchants at brick-and-mortar stores. By combining a phone app (think Venmo or Paypal) with a terminal placed at participating businesses, Topl facilitates payments without taking your phone or credit card out of your pocket. Using bluetooth and standard mobile phone technologies, Topl creates interactions that are cheaper for merchants and faster for customers.

It’s cheaper than a credit card, and more convenient than a tap.

Topl is using their technology to significantly cut costs for merchants, reducing the standard credit card transaction fee of 3% to 1% with Topl. Given the thin margins of most retail businesses, the 2% difference in every transaction could significantly increase profits. Topl claims that they can even double operating margins, guaranteeing a 30%-60% increase.

The startup’s team consists of Chris Georgen, Matt Kindy, and Zihe Huang. The team met at Rice University as undergraduates, through working in various labs and other venues on campus. With mutual interest in software, Chris and Matt’s interest in crypto-currency, and Zihe’s experience working for OwlSpark Class 1 Alumni, ParkIt, the team came together to start their own venture. They figure they could all be terrible employees at big companies, or they could be their own bosses. With a tendency to ask why, Topl likes to make sure all their efforts go toward increasing the value of their company.

Why be a zombie when you can innovate?

Topl recently celebrated the launch of their their first prototype app on the Google Play Store, and the team is planning much more big moves throughout the summer. Their application to the Apple App Store has already been submitted, and they plan to have a working prototype for their terminal system by August.

When asked what most excites them about OwlSpark, the mutual answer was the ability to “just get out of our apartments and have a space to work together,” and they are making very good use of the space. The team has spent many late nights, and occasionally early mornings, and says they are averaging 15 to 16 hours of work every day.

When they aren’t trying to take on Visa, the founders of Topl enjoy playing video games, watching sports, eating, and working out.

Learn more at www.topl.me.