HallHang is an app that uses built in GPS technology to let users know what is going on in terms of hosted events and is supported by the Liverpool city region Activate programme. Tony McDonough reports
Teenage tech entrepreneur Lydia Jones is looking to commercialise a new app that allows university students to find out about events and get togethers around their halls of residences.
HallHang is an app that uses built in GPS technology to let users know what is going on in terms of hosted events such as movie and games nights and the Liverpool city region Activate programme has supported Lydia in developing it.
Activate is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provides support and funding to help digital and creative SMEs in the Liverpool city region grow using emerging technologies.
Lydia Jones, 19, who has been developing apps since the age of 15, was able to enlist the expertise of delivery partners the Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) and Liverpool Business School (LBS) to gather market research data.
Using data mining techniques developed by Dr Carl Chalmers from FET, the team gathered real time market research, which is now being used as part of investment pitching and the commercialisation of the product.
Project partner LBS examined the student demographic across three Universities – Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, and Edge Hill – to identify the behaviour of students and improve the understanding of the target audience.
HallHang, which was created to help students make the most out of their time at university through shared experiences, has already been incorporated by all three Liverpool universities.
Lydia, who has previously pioneered two other startups, was referred to Activate through Liverpool Vision after previously exploring other funding options to get the product to market.
She said: “Before I approached Activate, a big problem I had was investors wouldn’t take me seriously due to my age, regardless of having founded start-ups previously.
“The support from Activate has provided me with a much better idea of how much potential the market has to offer, and a clear product roadmap to scale. HallHang is now in a position to strengthen our offering as a stable tech company and have the key findings to back where we want to go, and how we will get there.”
Jonathon Clark, business and technology manager at LCR Activate, added: “Launching a new product business can be extremely hard for SMEs in the creative and digital sector.
“There are so many young entrepreneurs, such as Lydia, who have the skills and ideas but lack the resources to examine the feasibility of the product – and that’s exactly why we saw a need for the Activate project.”
HallHang is available on the App Store and is currently undergoing software updates to incorporate flat verification, geolocation and group chats to expand to more universities across the north.