UB-exclusive app to help students with daily tasks
Equilli App creators plan to ease students’ workload
College students have apps for everything.
They have Top Hat for classes, Instagram for their social lives and Google Calendars to balance it all. But with students’ notoriously busy schedules, they often struggle to find time for chores.
But now there’s an app for that, too.
Starting this fall, the Equilli App will become exclusively available to the UB community. Co-founded by UB alumni Halton Bagley and Greg Albanese, the Equilli App allows users to outsource their chores. To sign up, new users only need their .edu email address to immediately receive free “tokens.” Instead of paying money, all tokens –– besides initial free tokens –– are obtained by doing other app users’ chores. Users then use earned tokens to pay other users to do their chores.
Bagley studied business administration with a finance concentration and graduated from the UB School of Management in 2016. Albanese studied computer science and graduated from the program in 2013. Bagley believes their expertise makes for “quite a good mix of business and technical skills.”
The founders’ connections with the university –– along with the roughly 30,000-student population –– made UB “the perfect place to start” introducing their app.
The co-founders drafted the app in December 2018, wanting to create a platform where people could help each other with no money involved. The Equilli App creates a cycle of service where everyone is part of the process to make life easier.
“There is a lot of divisiveness in America and the world right now,” Bagley said. The income inequality gap is widening at an ever-increasing pace. We want to provide people with more accessibility to fulfill their basic needs in life. Not everything has to be about money. There are so many people who are just scraping by.”
The founders also hope the app will bring people together from various groups and communities on campus. After being members of Pi Lambda Phi, they said they understand students don’t typically interact with people beyond their social circles. They believe the app can help break these barriers between communities to harvest friendships.
To make the app a reality, Bagley said they surveyed hundreds of local college students on their needs at school and their willingness to participate in the app. The results were positive, and the UB alumni have been working on the project ever since.
They hope to have the app ready for testing in July and to align their launch time with back-to-school season in the fall.
The founders have been trying various ways to advertise their new product to the UB community. One major way being through social media, specifically Instagram. Jacqueline Cole-Conroy, a graduate assistant at the UB Department of Postdoctoral Scholars, discovered the app through Instagram.
“They followed me on Instagram after I posted pictures of the Pride Parade on campus, and since they said they were coming to UB in the fall, I figured I’d follow them to see what they were about,” Cole-Conroy said. “It’s an interesting concept, the trading of chores. I’m not sure if I’d ever use it, but it seems like a nice app that could help build the sense of community in UB and let people get to know one another.”
While the app still has some time before its launch, Bagley said he believes it will be beneficial to the UB community at large.
“We have larger-scale goals in mind for this mission but we see helping college students as a wonderful incubator to making it ‘cool’ to help people,” Bagley said. “We believe the trust, familiarity and highly localized geography that a college campus provides is a nice catalyst to jumpstarting this vision.”
Albanese said he, too, is anticipating the release and hopes the app will greatly benefit students’ college experience.
"Equilli has been a challenging and exciting project to work on,” Albanese said. “I can’t wait to see how it grows and the impact it will have on student’s lives.”
Anastasia Wilds is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at Anastasia.firstname.lastname@example.org.