Meet Jake Groth and Alex Smith, current seniors at CU Boulder and Co-Founders of Shivoo! Shivoo is a digital platform that allows users to discover public events in their area and plan private events of their own.
Jake and Alex both attended high school in Denver, CO, and played for the CU Boulder football team. Both Co-Founders are currently in their final year at the Leeds School of Business. Jake is studying Entrepreneurship and Operations Management and Alex is studying Information Management and Business Analytics.
Jake and Alex came up with the idea for Shivoo while playing together on the CU Boulder football team. The team was using an app called Teamworks to keep track of team events, schedules, locations, and other pertinent scheduling information. They quickly realized that a similar app specifically designed for students and their communities could be highly beneficial. They quickly started working on Shivoo and eventually left the football team this past year to dedicate more time to developing the app. Shivoo was recently launched and it’s currently available for download on iOS!
Jake and Alex began working on Shivoo during their Freshman year at CU Boulder. The duo felt that their app needed a fun name that reflected the services provided and came up with Shivoo. The name Shivoo comes from an Australian term meaning ‘a boisterous event or celebration.’
The idea for Shivoo came about after the duo used an app called Teamworks while playing football. Teamworks provided services to keep the team on track with team events, travel, and upcoming games. However, it was fairly complex to navigate. Jake and Alex felt that a similar app designed to assist with event planning and event management for busy college students could be extremely beneficial for clubs and other student-run organizations. They quickly set off to create Shivoo.
Shivoo is a mobile app that allows users to discover public events in their area and also plan private events of their own. To plan a private event, simply download the app and create an account. Once your account has been created, you can put in event details and share them with whoever you’d like to invite. If you’re hosting an event where guests are allowed a plus one, you can adjust the settings and each person you select to invite will receive an extra digital invitation to share with a friend. Shivoo allows you to plan secure events and easily keep track of those who were invited. To plan a public event, you must go through Jake and Alex directly. Shivoo monitors public events to ensure safety. Additionally, any events that users find inappropriate can be flagged and reported.
The Shivoo team is made up of twelve members including the three founders. Jake, Alex, and Ben Carlson, a current Senior at Colorado School of Mines. Six members assist with marketing and design, while the other half is focused on the development of iOS, Android, and the website. Jake assists the marketing and design teams, Ben works alongside the development team, and Alex is focused on finance, design, and serves as a bridge to connect the two teams.
The Shivoo team plans to participate in CU Boulder’s upcoming New Venture Challenge (NVC) with hopes to obtain funding to further develop Shivoo and kickstart the growth of their app. They plan to use any funding received to increase marketing and development efforts. The team is also excited to connect with mentors and experts in the industry through NVC.
Additionally, the team is working hard to add new features to the app like group messaging. They have conducted several focus groups, surveys, and user interviews to gain insight on what they can do to better the app. They also plan on updating the event planning system for public events so that users can directly plan an event on the website rather than going through individual stakeholders like Jake and Alex.
Currently, Shivoo is only available for download on iOS, but in the coming weeks, it will launch on Android.
Jake and Alex have made many sacrifices to pursue Shivoo. One of these sacrifices includes leaving the CU Boulder Football team. This was a difficult decision for the duo because football was a large part of their identity. However, they’ve now been able to dedicate more time towards Shivoo and have made tremendous progress.
The Shivoo team has struggled with product and software development since the app’s conception. Since development, there’s been a constant need to pivot and update specific features to fit consumers’ needs. Through help from their team, Jake and Alex have been able to overcome this challenge and have learned a lot in the process.
Advice For Current Students
Alex provides the following advice for current students,
“If you’re in college and you want to start a business, do it now. You have much less to lose now than you would in 15 years. Also, don’t be afraid of uncertainty. You’re never going to know the answer to everything, so just move forward and you will learn in the process.”
“If you want to start your own business, you have to be committed. If you’re not going to put in the work, then it won’t work out. You reap the rewards that you put into it, so it’ll only ever be as much as you put into it.”