David Lanphear


Chaysr is a startup re-thinking the student ID experience. It combines traditional ID functions – such as local discounts and building management – with modern technology including NFC, geolocation, and social functions.

I worked to help design the complete experience based on user research with area students. Students were interested in creating spontaneous connections with the classmates they had common connections with (such as similar classes or routines), but didn’t yet personally know. Businesses, on the other hand, were similarly interested in connecting with students during non-peak hours. Our goal – to create an interactive campus experience that re-defined traditional campus boundaries and activities.

The below illustrations were used in the initial versions of the app, launched at Bentley University and surrounding campuses.

Initial prototype: “Dope”

Dope was a simple prototype with one main objective – to test the viability of Chaysr’s larger business case. Our hypothesis was that we could connect cash-strapped students with businesses looking to fill capacity. We did this by teaming up with businesses to push notifications (specials, events, etc) to area students.

Through continued feedback we realized that the students needed a platform that was less about sales, and more focused on connections. We instituted a ‘follow’ feature to only push information from establishments that the students cared about, while we began plans for a larger and more personal connection engine – Chaysr.

Follow Place

Chaysr was a larger release focused much more heavily on the user desire to create local connections – not just with businesses, but with each other as well.

Chaysr Login Screen

Student Connect Home Screen

It all centered around your personal student ID which facilitated networks and interactions within the app, within other networking apps, and in the real world.

The app focused around the interactive Student ID (above) and the more you used the app for both online and offline activities, the higher your “social GPA” became…

Social GPA

But the intent wasn’t to just stick to your immediate social circles. College is a time to explore yourself – but also a time to explore those around you:

Class Schedule

By combining user desires for connection with a related profit driver in validated business capacity marketing, Chaysr was a fantastic learning experience and limited success. Unfortunately, the app was forced to shut down shortly after launch due to health issues and technical problems. The learnings here – hire for connection & shared vision as much as skillset and use primary (not emerging) technology stacks for growth applications.

Keep connecting, everyone!

(formerly available)


  • Frat Labs Inc

  • Chaysr

  • January 7, 2014

Students are a mobile and social bunch. So why do their IDs stay so old and static? That was the inspiration behind a 2013 startup named Chaysr with the goal of re-inventing the student ID.