Photo: Joseph Puopolo, CEO and founder, Printchomp

Kitchener-based Printchomp is opening its platform to developers to make it easier for anyone to print materials, with a single touch, from its vast network of printing providers.

The company has spent the last six months developing Print API, which enables developers to integrate options to print materials into their own applications. These print requests are then fulfilled through Printchomp’s platform.

That platform already has a network of 10,000 printers across North America and beyond, and has processed thousands of orders, including more than five million business cards.

Printchomp, which launched two years ago in the Laurier LaunchPad at the Communitech Hub, is a real-time marketplace for print jobs – or, as CEO Joseph Puopolo puts it, the Expedia or Travelocity for print.

The company is able to send an order to any printer on its network, which the user can select based on turnaround time, price or quality.

“People used to have to go around to different websites getting multiple quotes from multiple individuals taking an inordinate amount of time,” Puopolo says. “We bring all of this into one interface and make it really simple and straightforward to manage all in one dashboard.”

Printchomp benefits print shops as well as individual users, by acting as “an outside sales force for the print shop,” Puopolo says. “We can deliver them targeted business that’s meaningful to them without the print shop having any online presence.”

Puopolo says he first thought of Printchomp when he realized the opportunity within the customized goods space, or as he puts it, “anything without a barcode.”

“Search engines are dumb for customized goods,” he argues. “[With] products with barcodes, you can search and compare on the web seamlessly because it’s a known entity. But once you start adding variables with customized goods, such as options or features to be built, it’s a much different equation.”

The company’s new API (application programming interface) represents Puopolo’s desire to really disrupt an industry and build something the world needs. He adds that the future for Printchomp extends well beyond basic printing.

He wants to build on the “Chomp” brand by expanding into other types of customized goods. Think “Swagchomp” or “Signchomp.”

The more developers he can attract to building and developing on the Printchomp platform, the better, he stresses.

“This just provides another level of connectivity to print,” Puopolo says. “People have always valued what print can offer, but the pendulum has shifted to digital because it’s relatively easier. It’s easier to send an email blast. But if you could send out a direct mail blast that was relevant and targeted as easily as an email blast, your ability to stand out could be quite substantial.”

About The Author

External Relations Intern

Emmett O'Kane is a Wilfrid Laurier University Business student and brings his passion for marketing and technology to Communitech's External Relations Team. Born and raised in Waterloo Region, he comes from a career in music and now focuses on the connection between business and innovative technology.