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2014 News Releases

Is the party hopping or is it dead? New app takes the guesswork out of the club scene

May 1, 2014

Bounce app sample phone images featuring sign-in screen and
Sample images from the Bounce app

Going out always involves a lot of guesswork: Will the party at the club be bumping? Or will you wait for an hour only to find a lifeless crowd?

An award-winning app being developed by a team of college students could make those social missteps a thing of the past.

Longwood University student Allen Butler is using his technical expertise to help develop Bounce, an app that a startup company hopes to release within the next year. The app—free to users, with revenue coming from businesses—will provide a wide array of information, virtually instantly, about clubs, bars, events and other aspects related to nightlife. The business hopes to launch the app by October 2014.

"It’s a solution to a problem," said Butler, an information systems and security major who just finished his junior year at Longwood. "Now you kind of guess when you plan your night out. With this app, people won’t have to wait in long lines at clubs or events only to be disappointed at what lies behind those doors.

"We want to shape your night, to help you decide where to go—the hottest places to be, or where your friends or coworkers are hanging out. We called it Bounce because the idea was, ‘Let’s bounce from this place to the next place.’ It’s designed to connect you to a new kind of nightlife experience."

Butler is the self-described "tech guy" in the company, Bounce Nightlife, which includes three other principals and soon will hire a programmer. Butler, who also may be tapped to develop the company’s database, has spent most of his free time since mid-December working on the app.

The company’s dreams recently got a major boost—or bounce, you might say. Bounce won the Richard Bernstein Competition, an annual business plan competition for startup companies sponsored by Salisbury University’s Perdue School of Business. Bounce, one of about 20 companies in the competition, won $15,600, which is being invested back into the company.

Allen Butler
Allen Butler

"Since we won the competition, a lot of doors have opened for us," said Butler. "The money we won will help get us started."

Butler got involved in Bounce through a high school friend, Nick Giambra, the company’s marketing director, who is a business student at Salisbury University. Bounce was co-founded in 2013 by Nick Simpson, also a Salisbury student, and Ryan Nuzum, who lives in nearby Ocean City, Md.

"I helped design their logo—I’m also into photography and graphic design—and I give them advice on new technology and how it can be incorporated," said Butler, from Stafford County near Fredericksburg. "I add feedback where they don’t have expertise."

A few apps, including Imabee and clubZone, perform similar functions, but Butler believes Bounce offers unique features and better functionality—for example, giving the user real time data and a platform to connect with their friends. "This is a market that has not been taken advantage of," he said.

Butler’s Longwood adviser, Dr. Randy Boyle, associate professor of information systems, agrees that the concept is unique.

"This app is quite innovative," said Boyle, who has given Butler technology-related advice. "It’s a new angle in social media that hasn’t been looked at. What is interesting and rare is that it combines electronic social media with a traditional brick-and-mortar company, in this case social clubs.

"The app will be useful to single people, especially young singles, and club owners, who will get the exact clientele they want in their club. Young people will get to meet the people they want to meet and go to the places they want to go to. The prospect for this startup company to get what is called an ‘angel investor’ is very high."

Bounce Nightlife has a "marketing strategy and a full business plan, and we’re talking to investors who are interested," said Butler, adding that the company is developing its website (bouncenightlife.com), is obtaining copyrights and trademarks, and has a patent pending.