From left to right: Siddharth Rao, Alex Xu, Jeff Xu, Mihir Shah, Eon John, and William Han, the team behind ContaC.
Arcadia High School

Keep in touch paperlessly— ContaC makes it easy

Considering how far technology has come, it’s a little bit ridiculous that we still swap contact information so clumsily—either with fumbling fingers hurriedly punching digits into a phone, or through the archaic exchange of paper business cards.

Well, maybe not for much longer, if the team behind ContaC has its way.

ContaC, created by student entrepreneurs Mihir Shah, William Han, Eon John, Siddharth Rao, Alex Xu and Jeff Xu, seeks to facilitate exchanging information (and reduce paper waste!) one sleek card at a time.

The premium metal business cards use near field communication and QR code technology to make giving someone your contact info as simple as a tap from card to phone. Paper no longer factors into the equation.

The inspiration for ContaC cards came to American High School sophomore Shah as he witnessed his father’s struggles with business cards.

His father, a tailor, “carries hundreds and hundreds of business cards wherever he goes” in case he encounters someone in need or in want of a good tailor, Shah said. “But I’ve seen people take these cards, and as soon as we leave, I turn around and they’re at the nearest trash can just throwing the cards away.”

Shah couldn’t help but feel frustrated by the waste.

“[My dad] is trying so hard, and these paper business cards are just accumulating in price and destroying the environment, so I want to make this so people like him—or anyone, really—only have to use one card, and not have to worry about someone throwing away their business card.”

Designing the ContaC cards began on July 12. The team started with a prototype made with paper and a sticker.

“We had a printed QR code and NFC chip, and it worked,” Han said. “We went to a networking event with it and started pitching to whatever strangers we came across—the customer validation we got was humongous.”

At networking events, where business cards in large quantities are requisite, the convenience of using one card to quickly and easily share information with as many people as necessary is especially appealing. That was just a week ago; the newer designs, elegant and gleaming, are a far cry from that first flimsier prototype.

“Right now, we’re in the process of gaining major traction,” Han said. ContaC recently landed a sponsorship with Hack the 6ix, a Toronto-based hackathon.

You can follow ContaC’s progress on their website, or check out their Facebook page.