Be ready to add another medium to your social calender.
With over one thousand members and gaining, students at USM are supporting the new addition to their Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, and Linkedin, accounts. While the list goes on and on, Nathan Dionne, senior majoring in finance and economics, and his business team recently released nightIQ, a nightlife planning application available through your Facebook account in five cities across the U.S.
One Friday night about a year ago, Dionne sat at his computer and over and over again read the status update, “What’s going on in Portland tonight?” It wasn’t immediate but after about a month of mulling it over, he approached a group of friends who agreed there was an opportunity for a marketable service.
Two fellow students are on his nightIQ team. Marshall Beard, a finance major expected to graduate in the spring is the vice president of sales and main investor. Robert Korobkin, a graduate of Haverford College, is the chief technology officer with many years experience as a web developer.
After several focus groups, surveys and interviews confirmed the application frenzy, Dionne, Beard and Korobkin partnered up to develop an idea into a business venture. NightIQ is an application service available on your computer, tablet or smartphone. It allows users to sign on using his or her Facebook account to create an engaging experience while allowing other users to follow what their friends are doing during a night out on the town. It is also another advertisement medium for local businesses.
Dionne said the intent of the service is to add value to the planning process while maintaining a very user friendly, business oriented platform that anyone can use. “I built this so my dad could use it,” said Dionne. He hopes the app will be readily available to not only Facebook users but small businesses owners unfamiliar with other social mediums.
But will being readily available and easy to use sustain the constantly growing number of available applications? Kayli Heyse, a fourth year political science major, thinks so.
“I think that people would be surprised at how effective it could be when used regularly,” Heyse said. “In the long run, it will make making plans a lot easier.” She said she would certainly recommend friends to use it.
With people already using Facebook for communication, one student questioned if users will have a need for another tool. “It’s pretty easy to network with friends on Facebook, so the app’s viability is questionable. The cool thing is the adventurous effort that’s being made,” said Mike Costa, a senior media studies and communication major.
As nightIQ continues to grow at a steady rate of about twenty-five new members a day, the number of those members currently active is unavailable.
With rent, legal, insurance and contractors the costs have begun to add up. By working other jobs and even selling his car, Dionne already has about $11,000 personally invested, while Beard has about $7,000. A financial return is quickly anticipated through the one dollar-a-day fee being charged for businesses visibility on the custom Facebook tabs and on the “Scene Feed” or a special feature within the app.
Portland; Orono; Portsmouth, N.H; Burlington, Vermont; and Daytona Beach, Fla. currently feature nightIQ services available for download.