Two University of Rhode Island junior business students did not allow their classes and schoolwork to stop them from creating their own business that is designed to help other college students.
Students Andrew Bikash and Ben Grossman have developed their own app, called KANU, which took a year and a half of preparation to create. Additionally, a new version of the app will be formally released in the spring.
“There is a version currently on the app store and we have a lot of users so far,” Bikash said. “It has been mainly positive feedback, mainly from business students. Most of our early adopters of the app are really intrigued by the ability to generate requests, much like other delivery platforms.”
The app was originally released last year and is intended to provide new opportunities to college students.
“The general concept is that it is a marketplace for students to buy and sell services and create opportunities on campus, it’s anything from selling textbooks or offering your ability to tutor,” Grossman said.
Grossman said it is not unexpected that many students may not have heard about the app yet.
“We’ve been kind of quiet about the apps release,” Grossman said. “We wanted the product to be as developed as it could be before marketing it to the world.”
However, the app is not just about providing a new way for students to make money on campus. The app can also serve as a learning tool for business classes.
“What has been really evolving this semester is the application in the classroom. Business students are learning how to launch a business on the platform, that fulfill campus needs and improve campus life,” says Grossman.
Starting next semester, KANU will be used in BUS 149, which is a business and entrepreneur class taught by Nancy Forster-Holt. The app will be used as a model to both teach and inspire other students. In the class, the concept of the app will be used as a platform for other students who are interested in creating their own businesses.
“Next semester [Forster-Holt] is formally adding it to her curriculum, it’ll be a way for us to expand our business,” Bikash said.
The creation of KANU has been beneficial for not only those who use the app, but also for Bikash and Grossman. The release of the app, receiving positive feedback and having the app added to the BUS 149 curriculum helped to give the Bikash and Grossman first hand experience about what it is like to be immersed in the business world.
“The school [URI] is actually sending us to New Orleans in January to present this concept, as an entrepreneurship teaching model,” Bikash said.
The app is now available to download for free on the Apple App Store.