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Bethlehem Startup Featured On Buzzfeed’s Best Apps for College Students

By Colin McEvoy on July 2, 2018

Screenshot examples from the UBMe app.

Screenshot examples from the UBMe app.

A proximity-based networking app made by a Bethlehem startup company has just been placed in the spotlight by one of the most popular websites on the Internet.

Buzzfeed featured UBMe on its list of the Top 10 Best Apps for College Students in 2018, alongside such smartphone application heavy-hitters as Google Drive, LinkedIn, DropBox and CliffsNotes.

UBMe, an app created by Val Arzunian, allows users to connect with other people using the app, not just within a nearby radius, but who are physically located at a specific place, whether it’s a business, bar, college campus, concert, festival, or sporting event.

“UBMe is a relatively new app that makes it easy to see who is at the local ‘spots’ in town,” according to the Buzzfeed article, which was written by Ashley Trump.

“With UBMe, users can go to a local place of business such as a pizza shop, and check-in there to view deals and even join a live chat,” she wrote. “This allows students to save money, learn more about their local area, and meet people with the same tastes or interests.”

Arzunian said he is pleased that the app has been spotlighted on such a widely-read platform.

“We have a lot of things we’ve been working on, so hopefully over the next couple months we see a lot of this play out and it continues to get even more attention,” he said. “We’re working hard and still have a lot of work to do. As far as I’m concerned, we’re just 1 percent done.”

UBMe is a tenant at Pi: Partnership for Innovation, a Bethlehem startup business incubator located on Evans Street, which hosts technology companies, social media firms, and software development companies.

Arzunian was also a recipient last year of a $15,000 technology transfer grant from the board of the Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ), a designated zone within the city of Bethlehem designed to foster entrepreneurial growth.

The UBMe app allows users to check into any venue or place and immediately chat with others in the same location, or post something in a local area the way one can post statuses to their Facebook followers.

Users can also create local events with the app and local businesses can use it to interact with its customers and create a more personal interaction with its guests.

Heatmaps were also recently added to the app, Arzunian said, which allows users to see where people are gathered and interact with them. Within the next month, he expects to publish a business portal letting businesses create a profile on the app and publish deals and loyalty rewards.

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