MRU student creates app that promotes friendly mingles and supports local businesses
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Publishing Editor
Mount Royal University (MRU) student, Bianca Veltri has created an app that simplifies organizing plans for friends while supporting local businesses at the same time.
The Hive app was pitched at the 2023 JMH Launchpad Pitch competition, Alberta’s largest student entrepreneur event. Veltri and The Hive was granted $10,000 from JMH & Co., and $15,000 Grant Design award for design services.
“The goal of The Hive is to simplify group activity planning and enhance the experience for the friend organizer, while also providing exclusive discounts from local vendors.” explains Veltri.
The app is being made with integrations such as in-app payments and other various marketing tools that will benefit local businesses.
“This provides vendors with valuable access to real-time data, enabling them to improve and scale their businesses. The unique aspect for vendors lies in the opportunity to form collaborative partnerships within the community.” Veltri adds.
The Hive envisions an experience like the following— the organizer of the friend group wants to have a mani-pedi night, drinks, and dinner. In using the app, the organizer will have a smooth experience in coordinating activities because the various businesses can come together to provide discounts and other perks for users. According to Veltri, this vision will promote community engagement and mutual growth.
Veltri is currently in her fourth year of Finance, minoring in Accounting and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The app, currently in development, was born out of Veltri’s experiences as the primary organizer of her friend group, as well as her passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Her commitment to the latter is evident in her various roles such as her participation in Innovation Sprint, an MRU program that provides work-integrated learning experience. Veltri is also an innovation ambassador for MRU’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) and has completed the connectFirst Social Entrepreneurs program. All of this in addition to her university studies and working with Calgary local startup, Showpass.
“My interest in entrepreneurship developed during my involvement with the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As a Finance and Accounting student, the Innovation Sprint introduced me to the world of creative thinking and innovation, which ignited my passion for ideation and problem-solving.”
Veltri’s momentum doesn’t stop there. She will also be attending the 2023 European Innovation Academy where she will work with students from around the world to further develop The Hive. After that, she will be working with MRU alumni, Aislinn Grant of Grant, to create consumer branding identity for the app. Participating in Platform Calgary’s Catalyzer, a program that supports entrepreneurs in developing their enterprise, is also on her agenda.
Veltri says that after university, she plans to continue working at Showpass and her commitment to The Hive’s development.
“Making a positive impact in the lives of others is my driving force, and I am truly passionate about helping individuals and creating a meaningful difference.” says Veltri.
Veltri shares an important message to aspiring entrepreneurs in MRU and Calgary—“Embarking on the journey of building a business idea is a rollercoaster ride filled with both triumphs and challenges.”
“My mentor, Diana [Grant-Richmond], shared a quote with me during the process that I now read off my wall daily, ‘Entrepreneurs are always only 80% satisfied. That’s what makes you an entrepreneur. You can always see how something can be better. Acting like an entrepreneur is accepting that 80% is ok for now but you’re going to keep trying and moving forward as quickly as possible.’ ” Veltri adds.