Kent alumni create app to make student classroom communication easier

Sqrl photo three

Jenna Langan

The app, Sqrl, is designed for students to log in with their email for fast and collaborative communication between classmates.

Boris Udovicic, marketing and business strategist, along with Dean Barker and Aron Gates, coding specialists, are the alumni behind the development of the innovative communication app.

The three started working on Sqrl just a year ago.

“Towards my final years with upper-level classes, people would send blast emails on blackboard asking questions because they didn’t want to ask the professor, they didn’t know anyone in that class or they’re just too nervous or anxious,” Udovicic said.

The mathematics, entrepreneurship and computer science majors combined their degrees and knowledge to make Sqrl.

Sqrl strives to make communication easier among students who are in the same classes.

“This [Sqrl] provides that immediate portal to everyone in your class. You don’t have to create a group chat, like GroupMe with everyone’s phone number, this is automatic,” Udovicic said.

Rather than giving out phone numbers to every classmate, the creators are working to allow students to have login access with the use of their Flashline email.

“We’re working with Kent State right now to improve the login process so not all of the features are available right now,” Barker said.

Diamond Brooks, senior public health major weigh in on how the app compares to others that are similar.

“My favorite feature would be that I don’t have to give out my number,” Brooks said. “I wouldn’t have to save those contacts I may or may not speak to outside of a particular course.”

The app is set apart from other communications apps like GroupMe and Slack. 

“I like this better because it directly links students together who are in the same class,” Brooks said.

The creators hope to provide more than just communication between classmates.

“We have a lot more planned for the future,” Barker said. “This past semester, we are treating almost as a Beta test. We’re going to be re-launching it [Sqrl] again as a much better app with more features.”

Using Sqrl as a space for networking and receiving information from professionals and businesses is one of the features to look forward to.

“We have plans to allow companies to directly offer jobs and internships to specific majors,” Udovicic said. “So let’s say an architecture firm in Kent is looking for architecture interns or even job offers, they can directly market to the architecture group.”

The creators of Sqrl aim to conquer old ways by proving the necessity of messaging and communication apps in today’s world.

“The biggest challenge for us has been expressing in the benefit of this app to a generation that never used this in college,” Udovicic said.

Now more than ever, students are moving at a busy pace that emails and letters cannot keep up with.

“Our generation is very ingrained that real-time messaging and instant messaging is the way that everyone wants to speak, not discussion forums or email blasts.” Udovicic said.

Sqrl and its creators have plans to expand with Kent State and other universities from here.

“I love that with technology we can help modernize and automate communication in a way that helps my alma mater,” Gates said. “The idea that we can create a better experience for students gives me great satisfaction and a desire to innovate even further and create even better tools.”

Jenna Langan is the tech reporter. Contact her at [email protected].