Student startup company ChaChing, a peer-to-peer payment and money transfer application, has advanced to the ‘Entrepreneurial Eight’ final round of the Student Startup Madness competition held at the SXSW interactive media conference in Austin, Texas.

ChaChing was co-founded by Seth Samowitz ’17, a dual major at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Samowitz will pitch his company to a panel of judges, composed of entrepreneurs, investors, and technologists. The winning team at the competition will take home a prize package of software and services valued at more than $2,000, as well as bragging rights as the ‘best student startup in America.’

“We have a great lineup for the finals,” said Sean Branagan, creator of the Student Startup Madness program, and the Director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. “It says a lot about the quality of ventures coming off America’s college campuses these days. We have a terrific array of technologies, business ideas and markets, so this will be a tough decision for the judges.”

Samowitz’s company is developing the first mobile keyboard application that allows users to send and receive money on any messaging platform without leaving their conversation. The payment application works across mobile platforms, and users can select to send money from their bank account, Venmo or Paypal accounts. In addition to the keyboard payment option, the application also offers a web payment gateway so that non-ChaChing users can log in and retrieve funds that were sent to them.

“I’m excited to show the world the fastest way to send and receive money,” said Samowitz. “I hope we can use this opportunity at Student Startup Madness as a launch pad to becoming the leading mobile peer-to-peer payment application in the world!”

Student Startup Madness is one of the largest competitions for student-run startups.  Each round of the tournament builds momentum, awareness and social media buzz, drawing attention to colleges and universities as sources for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent while showcasing university entrepreneurship and encouraging college students to start businesses.

More than 100 teams applied for the Student Startup Madness tournament between August and December 2015. The first two rounds of the tournament were held online.

The ‘Entrepreneurial Eight’ finals will be held on March 14th at SXSW in the Hilton Austin Downtown – Salon E, from 3:30-6 PM.