Success is nothing new for Corey Capasso (BBA ’09) who, at the ripe age of 18, co-founded the online student ticket network ExchangeHut.com with fellow UW-Madison graduates Jesse Davis (BBA '09) and Nathan Lustig (BA ’09).
A native of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, Capasso’s penchant for bringing ideas to market has guided his young career, resulting in a number of successful startups whose roots can be traced back to his time on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
A double major in Risk Management and Insurance and Management and Human Resources with a focus in Entrepreneurship, Capasso successfully sold ExchangeHut.com in 2008—his junior year—after growing the site to 120,000 users.
Reflecting on the mentorship he received from his Entrepreneurship teachers at the school—including Senior Lecturer Joe Boucher, Assistant Professor Phil Kim, and Associate Professor Jon Eckhardt—leading up to the sale of ExchangeHut.com, Capasso comments, “Phil made us do mock business pitches, debates, and ‘elevator pitches’ for businesses in class, which was a great exercise for any entrepreneur.”
Capasso was recognized in 2008 by BusinessWeek as one of “America’s Best Entrepreneurs” under the age of 25. The magazine highlighted the launch of his newest startup—Add the Flavor, LLC—a collaboration with University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists to bring flavored plastic, or PolyFlav, to market. Add the Flavor received second place and a total of $7,000 in prize money during the 2009 G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition at the Wisconsin School of Business.
“The entire process helped me formalize my business and encouraged me to share it with faculty and staff who all gave me great advice, feedback, and helped in any way possible,” said Capasso.
In March 2010, he joined forces with Andrew Ferenci (BBA '09) and Daniel Reich (BS '08) to found social marketing platform, Spinback. In 2011, the company was acquired by Buddy Media, which was later acquired by Salesforce.com.
Today, Capasso is working part time on Add the Flavor, which he indicates is on track to be his most successful business to date: “Today, the business does several million dollars in revenue per year and is profitable.” His remaining time is spent as an advisor and board member of MoGo, part of Add the Flavor.