Typically, we trust our friends and family to offer reliable recommendations and inspiration for purchases. Besart Copa (SFS ’22) leverages these relationships to enter, and soon dominate, the social e-commerce market with his innovative product, Chestr.
Currently, there is no designated platform for friends to share what products they are eyeing across multiple online retailers and to efficiently organize their wish lists. Besart designed Chestr to solve this and offer a socially inspired shopping experience through a Google Chrome extension.
The main product Chestr offers its users is a digital “chest” to save products from various sites. This feature allows for consumers to seamlessly share “chests” with others for shopping inspiration and organized recommendations.
The factor of ease increases the value proposition of Chestr in comparison to what is offered by other social e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon. Additionally, the Chrome extension allows users to organize wish lists, track purchases, shipping, returns, and product price changes – revolutionizing the online shopping experience.
After his freshman year at NYU Abu Dhabi, Besart spent two years working in startups before he transferred to Georgetown with the intention of building his own company while finishing his undergraduate degree. He credits the tight-knit Hoya community as being the ultimate resource for kindling his success as an entrepreneur, most notably:
Trae Stephens (SFS ‘05), Partner at Founders Fund, for his mentorship since the inception of the company
Sara Mattern (SFS ‘08), Partner at Foley Hoag, for providing legal support and taking Chestr as a client at such an early stage
Ava McDonald (COL ‘24), founder of ZFluence for helping bring the product to influencers across the US.
And his friends and peers for being some of the earliest Beta testers!
The idea for Chestr was born in August 2021. Before the product was even built, Chester received funding offers that valued the company at $2.5 million. Now, thanks to the support of his friends and mentors from our Georgetown Entrepreneurship in Residence team, Chestr has about 120 beta users and an impressive user retention rate.
Besart noted the number of random Reddit users, in addition to Georgetown friends, who enjoy his product, removing any biases. In fact, 68 consumers have already used the Chrome extension in the past month, further validating his original hypothesis that people want to see their friends’ shopping lists.
Besart’s concept is also being tested by small and mid-ranked influencers to advertise sponsors and to share their own favorite products. Zfluence, an influencer management platform founded by Georgetown student Ava McDonald, has helped to facilitate Chestr’s relationships with social media stars.
Following his graduation from Georgetown, Besart plans to work on Chestr full time and hopes to make it into the largest social e-commerce platform in the United States, to target the $4 trillion online shopping market.