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Science & Technology

5 Questions With 4 Student-Created App Developers 

April 8, 2019

5 questions with 4 Drexel-student-created app developers.

Drexel University students are out in the workplace, the community and all over the world, solving problems in an effort to make other’s lives easier. But they’re not only making a difference in-person — they’re also bringing app ideas into market and making a difference in people’s lives through the digital space.

Learn more about four student app developers or teams, what their apps do and why they are important to society.

The Invure team created an app that empowers students to reach their fullest potential by providing them with tools and recommendations to make more informed choices with regard to their educational and professional journeys.Invure

Answers by Shania Smith, Invure co-founder and fifth-year student studying marketing and technology innovation management.

What does your app do?

Invure is an app that empowers students to reach their fullest potential by providing them with tools and recommendations to make more informed choices with regard to their educational and professional journeys.

Why is your app important?

Our app is important because it is working to close the opportunity gap for students across the United States. We recognize the disparities that are present within the educational system and we saw that it was our duty to make an impact ourselves. We decided to leverage the value that technology brings in order to support students on their journeys regardless of their environmental or financial circumstances.

If your app is not yet to market, what stage are you at in bringing it to market? If you are in market, how has the response been to your app as compared to your expectations?

We are currently in the development stage, actively building out the front and back end of the app. We also are SO excited to announce that we launched our very first crowdfunding campaign which is live now and running through the end of April. Support from the campaign will help to fund a variety of business and technology related expenses for our app. The support we have received thus far has been immense, and we know that with continued support from the Drexel community and more we can reach our goal! You can visit our campaign page to learn more and support.

How was the idea or process of bringing your app to life informed by being a Drexel student?

Luckily, my co-founder and I met at Drexel and much of our journey began with candid discussions around how we were grateful for our success and progress at the University but how we had wished that some of our peers (outside of Drexel) had reached the same level of achievement as we had. Our shared experiences as Drexel students and backgrounds growing up helped us to shape Invure into what it is today.

What are your plans for the future of the app?

Our plans for Invure are to finish the beta by fall 2019 and to secure regional-level partnerships with organizations that are working to impact students across the United States. We are also in the process of applying to incubator and accelerator programs. 

Other students involved:

Lauren Bruce (co-founder) — BS Management Information Systems ‘18

Amanda Miller — fifth-year, marketing and management information systems

Sharaine Eldafrawy — fourth-year, management information systems and business analytics

Stephan Dupoux — fourth-year, management information systems and business analytics

Kayla Savage — first-year, computing & security technology

Melisa Czeplowodzki — fourth-year, operations & supply chain management

The founders of VyB created a real-time rating application for social experiences. VyB

Answers by Mason Cohen, Vyb co-founder and president and first-year entrepreneurship major.

What does your app do?

VyB (pronounced “Vibe”) is a real-time rating application for social experiences. The VyB app will allow users to see the coolest restaurants, clubs, lounges, bars and other social experiences around them in real time. The VyB app also eliminates fake reviews, unlike popular

rating platforms today which are full of outdated and manipulated data. With the VyB app, users will always know the coolest, most convenient options for where to go and will never be out of the loop. Since vibes at places change second to second, so does our rating! As soon as users rate their experiences, they become social — for others to like and comment!

Why is your app important?

The VyB app is important because ratings are incredibly influential in where customers decide to have experiences and spend their money, yet the ratings and reviews themselves are not trustworthy or reliable. Did you know that over 40 percent of online ratings are fake? Did you also know that over 68 percent of people rely on ratings just to decide or validate their decisions? With VyB’s patent-pending technology, fake reviews will be a thing of the past! VyB wants to help consumers decide smarter, create better social ties with their local community, and get feedback to businesses to help provide better customer service.

If your app is not yet to market, what stage are you at in bringing it to market? If you are in market, how has the response been to your app as compared to your expectations?

VyB is not yet on the market, we are in our pre-launch phase. We plan to beta test our app in May–June 2019, and officially launch around summer 2019! You can support VyB now however by visiting or website and getting some VyB apparel! If you would like to be a part of this “rating-revolution” by being a beta-tester or buying apparel, visit www.myvyb.io today.

How was the idea or process of bringing your app to life informed by being a Drexel student?

Drexel has helped VyB in so many ways. We are currently working out of the Baiada Institute incubator at Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship. Baiada is amazing because we are surrounded by other smart, motivated people and in a state-of-the-art office space with positive energy. VyB is also currently working with Drexel’s Kline School of Law through the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and could not be happier with the professional legal work they have provided us. Drexel has been amazing to VyB and we are ever thankful for the resources that they provide us. 

What are your plans for the future of the app?

VyB plans to be a household name in the Philadelphia area within a year of launch. We are a team of truly passionate people with an amazing support system from Drexel, and an impressive board of advisors. We want to bring transparency to the world through ratings and hope to one day expand from just the hospitality industry and begin to help other industries like healthcare, the auto industry and many more!

Other students involved:

Adit Gupta (co-founder and CEO) — fifth-year, software engineering

Nico Cohen (co-founder and CMO) — incoming freshmen for fall 2019

Tom Falzani (chief creative officer) — third-year, graphic design

Lindsey Smith created Fashion Buddy, an app which gives people the validation they are looking for to buy an outfit. Fashion Buddy

Answers by Lindsey Smith, Fashion Buddy founder and a second-year entrepreneurship and innovation student.

What does your app do?

Fashion Buddy gives people the validation they are looking for to buy an outfit. It’s 100 percent anonymous and judgement-free. 

Why is your app important?

Sometimes your friends just tell you an outfit is nice, just because they are your friends. You can receive instant and real feedback with Fashion Buddy. Plus, it’s nice to have validation from Fashion Buddy, because when you dress your best, you feel your best, which makes you do your best!

If your app is not yet to market, what stage are you at in bringing it to market? If you are in market, how has the response been to your app as compared to your expectations?

I think anyone new seeing or coming across Fashion Buddy is progress even if it’s not the “return” we thought we’d see originally. I’m aware it will take time to see big return but every forward step is progress even if it is a lesson learned.

How was the idea or process of bringing your app to life informed by being a Drexel student?

I was motivated by a new city, community and mentors. Everyone seemed to be sharing their insights and helping others which inspired me to start something of my own that I was passionate about, too.

What are your plans for the future of the app?

Bringing confidence to everyone no matter who you are or where you are, as well as bringing shoppers back in the store. I see Fashion Buddy transforming how people make buying decisions.

Carmate

Answers by Michael Bernicker, Carmate co-founder and third-year entrepreneurship and innovation student.

What does your app do?

Carmate is a mobile application for car dealership customers that streamlines the entire car buying and owning experience by bridging the gap between dealership employees and their customers. 

Why is your app important?

Our app offers a variety of features that creates retention for car dealerships. With our text messaging and call request features, it is now easier than ever to stay in touch with the dealership from which you purchased your car. Our glovebox feature automatically stores all of your important documentation associated with your car, such as warranties and insurance.

If your app is not yet to market, what stage are you at in bringing it to market? If you are in market, how has the response been to your app as compared to your expectations?

We have been testing at our beta location at the Springfield Hyundai for a few months now and have about 500 customers signed up using our app. The feedback from customers has been great. We have signed agents to sell our product in dealerships and will be rolling out to new dealerships in the coming weeks.

How was the idea or process of bringing your app to life informed by being a Drexel student?

Through the entrepreneurship and business classes I’ve taken at Drexel, I have gotten many ideas out of them. Between learning about bringing the product to market, testing phases, development phases, and much more. The classes have been very beneficial.

What are your plans for the future of the app?

Our plan is to continue developing new features that we think our customers will value. We have many features coming and we continue to develop more and more ideas that we think will make our app something that the industry will really take a liking to. The product has come a long way, but still has a long way to go. We are very excited to roll it out to the automotive industry.