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U of O students create app to help connect with on-campus activities

CAMPUSGRIDS, A NEW social network created by four University of Ottawa students, aims to help students find clubs, events, and businesses.

“Essentially, student clubs post their info, events, and pictures, and the app will suggest those clubs to the right students based on the student’s interests and program of study,” said Campusgrids co-founder Ryan Elias.

Campusgrids stemmed from Elias’s personal frustration when he couldn’t find activities on campus as a first-year student.

“Everything seemed so disorganized and I was discouraged to continue my search,” he said. “My friends and I decided to create a service that would fix this issue for students in the same predicament and simplify the process for future generations.”

To access the service, students can visit campusgrids.com, create a profile, and find clubs or businesses they are interested in. Clubs will post news or information about events in the app and the student will be notified.

Elias’s brother Robbie and two of their childhood friends, Elias Fares and Tedy Tadi, have joined the project. Fares and Robbie Elias manage the technological aspects of Campusgrids, which includes developing and maintaining the app and website. Tadi and Ryan Elias are in charge of marketing.

“The fact that we grew up together has made the experience so much richer,” Ryan said.

He highlights his time at the Telfer School of Management as an important building block to getting Campusgrids off the ground.

“My courses have helped me see things in a more entrepreneurial manner and have given me the right tools to develop a business plan,” he said.

Ryan’s marketing skills are critically important in a crowded social networking market, in which gaining and keeping users can be difficult. Elias maintains that there are several key differences between his product and the competition.

“We don’t just throw a random list of events to students,” he said. “We first see what you are interested in and then we suggest the right clubs and events to you.”

Currently, Campusgrids is geared toward U of O, Carleton University, and Algonquin College students, but Ryan hopes that within the year the app will expand to other schools across the country.

With an Android device, the Campusgrids’ standalone mobile app can be found in the Google Play Store. It will be available for iPhone users in the coming weeks, but is accessible via a regular Internet browser in the interim.