Startup Directory

Cohort 1 – CoinOut, Founded by Jeff Witten, ’10CC, ’15LAW, ’15BUS

CoinOut is a mobile shopping app that rewards everyday shoppers for their transactional data. Users submit pictures of their in-store receipts to earn randomized CoinOut rewards, from virtually any retailer. Because CoinOut accepts receipts from all retailers and is incredibly simply to use, the app has become an addicting experience for a wide array of Americans. Users can earn rewards in a number of different ways, resulting in deep, personalized engagement and rich insight into a user’s shopping habits across all stores and channels.

The app specializes in a number of in the moment survey and feedback tools, providing a unique window to attributed buyers of specific products, in real-time. It also has flexible tools to identify demographic trends, competitor analysis and other insight into the offline world. They have grown to over 400k users that submit over 100k receipts daily. You may also recognize Jeff from his turn in the Shark Tank, making a deal with shark Robert Herjacvec for $250,000!


The Columbia Startup Lab was key to taking CoinOut from concept to reality. Columbia Law School sponsored Witten’s spot in the Startup Lab, and  CoinOut’s first merchant was Just Salad, a shop that is a block away from the Lab.

“We took everyone at the Lab out to lunch there so that they could come out and use our product. It was really our first true customer feedback experience, and the other entrepreneurs at the Lab played a vital role in the development of the product,” said Witten. “It was an amazing opportunity to get people from different backgrounds and viewpoints give us advice on everything from the phrasing of the receipts to the cash-back options being presented.”