Party animals are still looking to their phones to figure out parties to go to.
TheRedCup, a mobile app that lists all parties on campus in one place, aims to fill the gap between those who want to party and those who throw the parties. Since it was launched Aug. 20, it’s gotten 3,000 downloads and 2,000 users.
To login to TheRedCup to check or post events, users must have an undergraduate email address as well as a valid Facebook account.
“[The police] definitely cannot access it. It requires an undergraduate student email, not any Penn email address,” Engineering sophomore and co-founder Utkarsh Shah, said. “If an administrative staff wants to log into it, he or she wouldn’t be able to.”
Wharton sophomore and app co-founder Clay Fairbanks added that they promoted over 80 parties during NSO and did not receive any complaints about police-related activities.
“We check to make sure it’s a real Facebook account,” he added. “Also, information that is posted on this is not sensitive information. [It is] publicly available.”
TheRedCup won the Audience Choice Award at the Elevator Pitch Challenge hosted by Weiss Tech House in February and was further developed during the summer.
“We did a lot of research into other products that exist in the market already,” Shah, who is also TheRedCup’s chief technology officer, said. “A great number of them either only listed registered events, or post events of a variety of other topics going on all thrown together into one giant list: the guest lecture, the barbecue … it’s all mixed in there with the party.”
TheRedCup, on the other hand, tried to target parties hosted by Greek groups as opposed to other extracurricular organizations. On each event page, a picture uploaded by the host and five red cups representing the rating of the party are displayed, as well as the address and distance from your current location. Before an event occurs, users can ‘like’ the parties listed on the app, therefore upvoting it. Users cannot see who else will be attending.
“A lot of it came from our personal experience,” Fairbanks said. “Finishing NSO, we found that the majority of our time was spent wandering the street around Philadelphia as opposed to actually getting into parties.”
Shah agreed. “You are really forced to rely on word of mouth instead of one specific source of information. Our first thought is that there has to be a more efficient way of handling this.”
Fairbanks also considered this app mutually beneficial for consumers and fraternities.
“We talked to some fraternities and found that they spent a lot of their time and resources on marketing for their events. We think we made that process a lot easier,” he added.
The developers said that the goal of TheRedCup is only to connect students with events and that they are not responsible for what occurs at those events.
“We are no more responsible for what happens at those events than Yelp is responsible for what happens at those restaurants that they send people to,” Shah said.
In the future, TheRedCup is looking into creating individual profiles to accommodate small gatherings and invitation-only parties, especially to support spring rush through more cooperation with fraternities.
“I have had one meeting with the founders of the company where they did a good job answering any questions I had,” said College senior Andrew Turell president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. “I have since invited them to come speak at the next IFC meeting. I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the app from here.”
“For now we are not interested in monetization, we are just looking to create some social change,” Shah said.