The new event app will bring more student engagement and a better college experience
“If I want to find all the school events, what should I do?”
This is the question Jerry Gou asked himself one day. As a graduate of the business marketing program at George Brown College (GBC), an international student representative for the Student Association and a peer coach for Peer Connect, he launched a one-of-kind mobile application GBevent on Aug. 24.
“As a GBC international student I realized that it’s really hard to find all the events coming from all the departments and programs,” said Gou, about how the idea was born. “Why don’t we have a centralized events sharing station for GBC and the students to bring higher student engagement and a better college experience?”
Gou turned to Amy Matchen, manager of startGBC, an organization that helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Gou became the first student in startGBC.
With Matchen’s mentorship and through networking Gou realized that although his strengths lay with business, public relations, business development and marketing, he didn’t know how to code. Finding his team with Stanley Xia, Jamie Lee, Larry Hu, Kay Xiao, Gou formed a collaborative project between the University of Toronto and GBC students and self-funded it with $1000.
With the help of startGBC Gou got into the DMZ (formerly the Digital Media Zone) at Ryerson University, one of the country’s biggest tech start-up incubators, according to The DMZ model. Out of 26 teams he was the only George Brown student.
They began developing the application in mid-April.
The latest user-friendly version allows users to see the list of upcoming events, sort them by date, location (three GBC campuses) and organizer as well as the ability to search by keyword, register for an event or save the one you like. However, the categories are open to change based on users’ feedback. In addition, the application features a unique “special request” function.
All the categories are based on personal experience, and Gou claims, “as a GBC student, I know what we need.”
Allergies and wheelchair accessibility can now be submitted through the application simplifying the former process of sending an email to the organizer.
Sharing on Facebook and 24-hour notifications are also available.
Registering an account is not mandatory if your goal is to browse the events, but if you want to attend an event you will need to create an account. Apart from regular nickname and password fields the application will ask for your gender, age, year and program of study.
As for the additional information, it will be used by the organizers for data analysis reports. GBevent will also have an immediate feedback system, when the event ends you will receive a notification asking about your experience. There will be three faces, happy, okay and sad, to choose from. If you click on the sad one, an organizer may reach you with a more detailed survey.
GBevent is available on Google Play, the iOS version is now being developed by Lee and Hu and should be launched in mid-October.
In the meantime non-Android users can visit the app’s website gbevent.net. Not only does it allow users to browse and register for events, it will also organize the events.
As for future plans Gou has an idea in case the GBevent app is a success, to find investors and duplicate the app at other colleges.