Down for a Tennis challenge? 5 on 5 Soccer? Need a Travel Buddy? Are friends busy? Looking for a study group? DownToDash connects college students to ‘get social- get active- get going’. DownToDash is an app that connects college students in the same location based on what they are down to do whether it’s workouts, sports, movies or traveling.
It is a completely secure network (no creeps, no random accounts) that works by anonymous swiping. Users can create a specific plan (example: play Tennis on Thursday at 5 pm) and other students can swipe down for the plan.
Popular social media apps show ‘stories’ in the moment or after something happens, DTD shows what people are planning before it actually happens. 56% college students feel lonely when they are at university and 40% foreign students have no close friends on campus (Amherst.edu and Quartz). Besides that, students that have many friends find it difficult to find another student to do a specific activity with, especially when their friends are busy.
“DownToDash is an awesome app that lets me connect with students at my university! I am able to see what other students are up to and join activities that are happening both on and off campus. I get to meet people who are interested in the same things as I am and explore so many cool things. I have been able to explore unique places to eat, campus activities and events. Being able to connect like this has really made my college experience even better!” – Maham Quraishi, George Washington University.
The app also has an events section where university clubs and student bodies like fraternities, sororities and dorms can post events. DownToDash aims to use technology to connect campuses and create new experiences for students by being an easy platform for them to connect leading to meaningful interactions in the real world.
Whether students are on campus or traveling, they can meet other verified students. DownToDash was co-founded by Sama Jashnani and Anuja Shah, two Warwick Business School students who graduated from the MSc Marketing & Strategy class of 2014.
While at university they realized that students usually end up meeting people only in their dorm or classes. There were many times that they wanted to form a group to play basketball, but could not find enough people. They thought about developing an app that was purposeful and easy to use as a way of connecting the whole campus.
Something that is spontaneous and gives students a chance to explore their interests and make the most of their time. DTD has a team of 70 interns who are marketing the app at different universities across the US (with a focus on New York). They have started monetizing the app through DownToDash Advertising packages for restaurants, clubs and other companies that target college students.
The Marketing and Social Media internships are a practical, hands-on experience and allow students to work with others from different colleges.
“Working with Down to Dash as an intern has taught me so much about personal relationships and marketing to certain audiences. The team encourages new ideas that will not only lead to the app flourishing, but they also encourage the interns to succeed at what they are doing.” – Lauren Davis, The New School.
DownToDash is one of the 12 startups that were selected for the ELEVACAO Accelerator program and is one of the Top 3 companies in this program. They have started with colleges and will expand to other communities such as high schools, corporates, housing communities and people who move into new cities in the near future.
“Initially it was very challenging to discover the right marketing strategy for DTD so I moved alone from India to New York to launch the app because I discovered the college market in the US was the best fit for the app. It was extremely hard to market the app to a completely new market in a city I had never been to before but my passion and love for the app enabled me to figure it all out.
I have always been a person who loves to bring people together and hope to do it on a global scale. Social media has been criticized for creating loneliness and depression and I want to change the meaning of social media by making social media SOCIAL.” – Sama Jashnani, Co-Founder
“DownToDash has been an unbelievable way to meet a ton of new people on campus. At first, I was hesitant because meeting random people is a bit nervewracking but being able to do things I want to do with other cool people that share the same interests has really elevated my college experience.”– Dylan Lee, UC Berkeley
Interning with DownToDash has been a great experience! I have gotten to learn more about marketing and public relations. I have stepped up my game pitching and social media marketing as well, and have developed not only a better knowledge of the industry but public speaking skills that I can take with me wherever I go. – Martika Brianne, Montclair State University
“My internship with DownToDash has opened my eyes to the intricacies involved in creating an app and making it a success. I learned what type of work goes into marketing and how to think like an investor. I learned what it means to be an intern for a startup. You strive to establish yourself in a market saturated with apps aiming for the same heights as you. It can be challenging but also immensely rewarding.”- Zainab A., New York Institute of Technology
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