Isla Vista is unique in its party scene, where one might find themselves dashing between four or five events in a single night. Knowing the right place to go before the night is over can be quite the challenge.
Finding the right venue for a fun weekend night is made easy by the new app, Owt, developed by Mattan Bostick, Jacob Guerena, Cody Tarlow, and Weston Redd, third and fourth year UCSB Technology Management Program students.
These UCSB students first conceived the idea for Owt during a Friday night out on DP. They saw that the IV community needed a solution to “know what’s going on without wasting time figuring out where,” according to its developers. Often, IV residents cruise DP, hoping to stumble upon a chill crowd to kick it with. However, with Owt, the search is forever over.
Owt, wordplay for “Let’s go out there!,” aims to make Isla Vista parties easier to find so that more time can be spent socializing and having fun. It aims to make the Isla Vista community a better place by giving residents what they want: a simpler (than Facebook or GroupMe, for example) way to create parties, share parties, and manage them.
Inspired by listening to the needs and concerns of what Isla Vista residents say they want in the app, Owt is unique in its creation. It’s specific to Isla Vista and displays the locations of parties in an accessible, map-based format.
“It empowers people to go beyond what their social networks [or] their group of friends could ever give them,” said Redd.
“With us,” Bostick said, “There’s a spontaneity, and it keeps the privacy of your parties better than a Facebook event would if you want it for that function so desire.”
Redd continued, “It’s crowdsourcing knowledge of what’s going on in Isla Vista, and it’s represented visually through pins on the map. Users can draw pins down and create their events. It gives people an idea of a realtime dynamic map of how the night’s evolving.”
Both Redd and Bostick expressed major gratitude to the prestigious TMP program that they believe gives them the knowledge and skills to succeed. “UCSB stands out as an entrepreneurial school. The things we’ve learned in those classes are utterly invaluable. TMP inspired us to start making a startup, and they’re going to keep doing that [with other students],” said Redd.
Unlike their major competitors, greed or wealth is of no interest to these new businessmen, who represent UCSB’s passionate atmosphere of social welfare and activism. These UCSB cultural values shine through in Owt’s core beliefs. “We’ve had a lot of people who are just interested in money. One of the main things we’ve learned is that it’s been really hard to find [fellow] people who are really motivated, passionate, and care about the future,” said Redd.
Owt’s developers value work that “doesn’t even feel like work,” but rather intends to be “really inspiring,” said Bostick.
Bostick and Redd made it clear that they want to add value to the IV community and hope to continue bringing entrepreneurial values of growth and passion to their next ventures.
Apr. 18, 8:21 p.m.: A previous version of this article spelled Jacob Guerena’s last name as Guarena.