The Problem

Students love university parties, however they are still quite rudimentary in some aspects. It is difficult for a student to find parties and buy tickets, and if they do not know if their friends are going to a certain party, they will quickly lose interest in it. In addition, the huge queues for drink tickets mean that students often give up on buying their drinks. These problems end up ruining one of the most cherished aspects of the college experience of 400 000 Portuguese university students. On the other hand, college parties organizers have their own set of difficulties. They struggle to promote their event and have a hard time dealing with ticket fraud. Since there are no digital records regarding consumption, the organizers can't learn from the consumers preferences and behaviors.

The solution

In order to solve these problems, we introduce the uniparty platform that consists of an app and a website. The app allows students to consult upcoming parties, buy tickets and drinks. In order to collect his consumables, the student just needs to place the order at the counter and show his QR Code to validate the transaction. The app also "gamifies" the drinking experience by making the drinking count public through a leaderboard where users can compare their scores with their friends and also by promoting streaks in which the user receives a free/discounted drink after drinking a certain amount of drinks. There are also mega streaks in which the user is joined by it's friends on a competition to win a prize by being the first group to drink a certain amount of drinks. For the event organizer, the app allows him to scan the user QRCode in order to validate the ticket and the consumables.

Through the website, event organizers can publish and manage their events as well as check the statistics of previous events in order to learn more about their consumers. They can also assign their collaborators to specific tasks and check their previous activity.

How we built it

At first we drew some mockups using Figma in order to start getting feedback on the app. After that we started programming the website using the React framework and the app using the React Native framework. By using React Native to program the app we can simultaneously do a version of the app for both Android and iOS devices. We use AWS and GraphQL at our backend and also MBWay for our e-payments.

Challenges we ran into

When our team started this project we knew very little about app development thus we had all to learn the mentioned technologies from scratch. We also had to talk with several event organizers in an effort to understand their issues since that in the beginning we could only relate do the issues from the student perspective.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As a team we are all very proud of our current MVP since we had a relative short time to develop our idea, learn the technologies and actually program our app, keeping in mind that we are still attending college. We are also very satisfied with our current partnerships with the biggest portuguese student unions since they will allow us to host big events very soon!

What we learned

So far we have all learned that developing an app is never straightforward and that there are lots of things that any developer needs to address. We have also a much better understanding of all the dynamics that go into organizing an event and how much of an impact an digital platform like ours can have by solving current issues but also by innovating and exploring uncharted territory like the gamification that we will bring. Also we are know a very well oiled machine, working and communicating much better between ourselves.

Business Model

Our main source of income will be a tax of around 5% that we will apply on every ticket/consumable bought and which will be paid by the event organizer. However we will have premium options to highlight a specific event or unlock more detailed data about the party which will be purchasable by the event organizers. Last but not least, we will look into bringing brands into the app by offering them ad space and naming rights on some of our features. We will only look to work with appropriate brands that make sense for the environment in which we are inserting ourselves into.

What's next for uniparty

On the short term we are proud to announce that we will be hosting multiple college parties in Lisbon between October and November of 2021. The biggest one will be attended by over 6000 people and thus will be a great test to our platform. We will also be aiming to host more college parties across the whole country in the remainder of 2021 and 2022. Due to the flexibility of our platform, we will also explore the hosting of other types of events like summer music festivals and nightclubs as well as international markets like Spain and the United States.

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