TCU students Aakash Tyagi and Yannick Tona have created a cost-sharing travel application exclusively for TCU students.
The app, Plan It, soft-launched last week and has since seen success among TCU students.
“The big event right now is the TCU-Oklahoma game,” Tyagi said.
Plan It allows users to plan or join a trip with the use of a tcu.edu email address.
By using the web application, students are able to share travel costs within the TCU community.
“I know that there is a trust issue with joining other people’s trips,” Tyagi said. “But TCU is a small campus, and people know each other.”
Tona and Tyagi made Plan It exclusive to TCU students to increase trust and safety with travel.
“To my knowledge, they were the first to do this,” said Cedric James, assistant director of the TCU Idea Factory. “They were willing to take on the barriers with safety and really make it happen.”
James said the motivation of Tona and Tyagi really impressed him when working on the project.
“Knowing their stories and seeing their motivation really makes my job easier,” James said. “Their positive energy really is contagious.”
That positive energy brought the duo to the prototype stage of their project, which began in the summer of 2014.
“I was interning in Fort Worth last summer, and I wanted to go to Austin, but none of my friends were around,” Tyagi said. “I tried to figure out a way to find people. I tried to post on Facebook, but news feeds get so busy and your post gets lost.”
Tyagi, along with Tona, began brainstorming and found a solution with the help of the Idea Factory.
“The Idea Factory was really helpful at bringing in the resources that we didn’t even know that we might need,” Tyagi said.
The Idea Factory connected the duo with the entrepreneurship center, application developers and other university contacts they needed to see their idea come to fruition.
“It started as a personal problem and developed into an application,” Tyagi said.
The Plan It team received overwhelming support for their idea at a tabling event held outside the Brown-Lupton University Union earlier in the fall and want to continue the improvement moving forward.
“We want to know what the users want and need,” Tyagi said. “After we work things out over the winter break, then we’re going to launch it big next semester.”
Before the spring launch, the team plans to add a feature that connects Facebook profiles to Plan It accounts for increased safety. Additionally, there are plans to add a trip suggestion option to the site as well.
“All you need to know is where you’re going, how many people you need, when you’ll reach the destination and when you’ll return,” Tyagi said. “It’s all really easy.”