Amazing things can be accomplished in as little as 54 hours — just look at what happened during the Kamloops Startup Weekend.
Designers, business managers, marketing gurus and programmers came together at Thompson Rivers University during the competition to pitch ideas.
They then broke into teams with the goal of building a product and business model.
The event did not disappoint.
The winning team ended the weekend with a new social media app that connects users with local activities and their participants.
Developers say Aptiv tears down the walls of exclusion they’ve experienced with traditional social media outlets.
"We wanted to create a product that answers users' need for involvement, rather than merely watching from afar,” said Team leader Dan Rink. “I think Aptiv answers that need.”
The team, which consists of lead developer Ryan Luker, designer Malisa Lazzinnaro and developers Martin Labanic and Gavin Keusch, feels that Aptiv can actually help to heal social ills.
The group drew on research that shows a correlation between traditional social media use and depression.
“They had an inflated view of how much fun their peers are having and when they compare themselves… they’re not doing near as many fun things since people only show all the great things they’re doing,” said Rink.
Aptiv addresses this by encouraging inclusion through links with organized local activities rather than creating the isolation users feel as a result of reading friends' posts after an activity.
Rink, co-founder of Kamloops Innovation Centre, initially came up the idea when he wanted to connect with individuals looking to get involved in sports.
Once he made the pitch, a team of five assembled and quickly evolved the idea to include five categories of activities.
The Startup Weekend was crucial to making the project work, said Rink.
“I’ve had the idea but without the motivating and resources of four other people to spend 52 hours times five people — probably wouldn’t happen,” said Rink.
Aptiv displays user-generated local activities on a map of the area. Users can join events and share details with friends to help fill openings. The app then caters future suggestions to match similar interests.
In addition to enabling the creation of free events, Aptiv also allows ticket sales for venue operators.
Sports leagues can use the app to collect entrance fees, generate team lists and send out notifications to participants.
Aptiv, which is undergoing a bit of polish to get the bugs out, said Rink, will eventually expand to include a corporate edition offering a map-based scheduling system for a company's users.
Those wanting to join up once the app is ready for mass distribution can sign up on the website landing page Aptiv.co.