ASU alumnus Drew Acocella serves as regional sales manager for an app that helps students find food and drink specials in their respective areas.
Launched about four years ago, Nightlife is now live in more than 23 cities with 12 more in development. ASU was one of the first universities the app creators chose to market their product.
Acocella said the founders’ goal was to create a go-to app for students who might not be aware of the different drink and event specials occurring on any given night. He added that the benefit of the app is that students have many options as to where to go out to rather than a frequented location.
“If you’re looking to go out on a Tuesday night, it literally breaks down where to go, how cheap items are and what’s going on at said places,” he said. “Really, it will help students save the most money in the long run, and it gives students the opportunity to connect with each other.”
Acocella said the app is managerial-based as well, allowing restaurant owners to access the app and inform students about specials available that night or in the future.
Owners may see how customers are interacting with their venue and connect the notifications to Twitter and Facebook. The paid service offers many advertising opportunities.
Acocella said organized pub crawls had been implemented with other locations across the country using the app. A plan for a Tempe pub crawl is in the works.
“We’re trying to do a fall barbecue pub crawl sometime this first semester,” he said. “This will involve specifically restaurants and bars on Mill (Avenue).”
Travis Hamilton, one of the app’s founders, said the first pub crawl Nightlife organized was in Long Island to support victims of Hurricane Sandy, and 100 percent of its proceeds went to the disaster relief.
All of the founders attended college at the time they created Nightlife. Some were members of the Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Missouri Columbia. Hamilton said connections they made in the fraternity helped greatly with expanding to other cities.
“We made an email campaign to our PIKE brothers,” he said. “We were able to generate some new regions and cities we would not have access to otherwise.”
Hamilton said that he and his co-founders believed that the app could serve as a means to eliminate repetition students find themselves getting into because they lack knowledge of other options.
“We were tired of the same bar scene, so we created the app as a way to better our experience with nightlife,” he said. “We wanted to save ourselves some money, and the actual business aspect began after success in our town.”
Communications senior Gregg Hillhouse said he thought the app would prove to be especially helpful to students who aren’t able to check in on specials every day.
“On Mill, you walk down the whole strip to find something and an app like this definitely saves you some time,” he said.
Communications senior Eric Moreno said he thought the app was unique, as well as helpful.
“I haven’t seen an app … that shows specials at places near campus that you wouldn’t know about otherwise,” he said. “It’s cool to have it all in one place that’s really easy to find.”
The app has more than 60,000 downloads and has 30 representatives across the nation to serve communities to which the app provides information.
Tempe locations such as Fat Tuesday Bar, Mill Cue Club, The Handlebar Tempe, Tempe Tavern and Vine Tavern & Eatery are included in the app.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @katie_calderon