Luis Batista, a 2012 USF graduate in communications, stood out from the rest of theMarshall Student Center crowd with a bright smile and a yellow sweater.
Batista is the brain behind a new mobile app, called Indino, that will connect college students to events happening on their campus and in their city.
The free app, pronounced in-dee-no, a play on the words in the know, is currently in production and will be released as a test in for USF students on iOS and Android operating systems in April.
Its a unique name isnt it? Batista said. Once I heard it, it stuck.
The app is simple.
Students create individual profiles and follow local businesses and school organizations. An organization can post events on its page for followers to see, and with a swipe of their fingers students can find out more about the event, add the event to their calendar or can share the event with their friends. The app also allows users to search for specific types of events happening in their area, such as events or social club meetings. It also allows owners of the event to communicate more efficiently with their followers, Batista said.Indino will warn users if an event on its calendar has been edited or canceled. Organizations can create private events that only its members can see.
Batista said he first thought of the idea for the app during his freshman year. He was taking a full course load, interning and working a full-time job.
While his free time was scarce, he wanted to use it to be a part of the college experience.
Every time I had a few hours, I would love to do something on campus just to meet new people, Batista said. But there wasnt a source or a way for me to find out all meetings and events happening on campus.
After graduating, Batista quit his job at an investment banking firm and took a part time job bussing tables in order to devote more of his time to working on the app.
When he started, he did not know how to build a mobile application, so he started drawing out his ideas for Indino on paper with a pencil and ruler.
Its a commitment, he said. When you have a dream and idea its go big or go home.
Batista said USF Communications and Marketing officer Tammi Flythe, USF Executive
Corporate developer and former Media General executive John Schueler andHillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe have expressed their support for the app and have helped spread the app in the community. Sharpe has tweeted photos ofhimself using the app.
Batista spoke about his app with enthusiasm, stopping to apologize for talking too fast or for too long. But he said is only the beginning for Indino and that he has big plans for its future.
Eventually, he would like to have Indino expand and become available for colleges across the country.
I had a lot of people tell me no, he said. I had a lot of people tell me I was crazy. I had a lot of people tell me this is not possible. But I kept believing in it and I never ever stopped.
The full release of the app is set for the Fall 2013 semester, but students can sign up on getindino.com for more information on the app and beta testing.