A mobile app billing itself as “the modern-day digital Van Wilder” has landed at UVA, and the creators want students here to help it take off.
KickOn is designed to hook partygoers up with party hosts, said company rep Kate Talbot. Unsurprisingly, college students are the target demographic, and Talbot said the company ID’d several schools with “good partying reputations” as places to hit on a promo tour that started October 29. High on the list is UVA, where KickOn is launching what Talbot called a “modern-day popularity contest” as a way to up its profile. Students apply online to allow the company to access and analyze their social media networks. The best-connected get to compete to throw a $2,000* sponsored party, and winners will be invited to tour college campuses as one of its “ultimate party liaisons,” hosting after-hours throwdowns across the country.
If you’re scratching your head over the wisdom of electronically inviting strangers to your house party, the company’s thought of that, said Talbot. It’s designed like popular dating site Tinder, requiring both would-be attendee and host to approve each other before the where-and-when details are shared. KickOn has an answer for damage control, too.
“You can give someone a ‘party pooper rating’ if they come and start a fight or get sick everywhere,” Talbot said.
“Five years ago, the thought of using an app to go on a date based only on a photograph was unheard of–but look at the success of Tinder,” said KickOn founder and CEO Charles Stewart, who told the Sydney Morning Herald the after-party app was inspired by new 1:30am bar-closing laws in his native New South Wales, Australia. “We’re using the same philosophy to enable private parties to be open to new and socially sought-after attendees. It gives introverts, extroverts and everyone in between the opportunity and confidence to host house parties like never before and invite people they want party with–even if they’ve never met them.”
*Correction: This story originally said KickOn offers winners $200 to host a sponsored party. Try multiplying by 10. Fetch the fog machines!