The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday June 9th

UNC alumnus creates night life app

Brian Ley wants to help people get into Country Night cheaper and faster.

Ley, a UNC alumnus, is the founder of BiddRocket, a behavioral startup company that studies the influence of psychology on purchasing decisions.

“People are deciding where to attend last minute and when they do go out, they’re going out in bigger groups than they ever have before, historically,” Ley said.

BiddRocket’s newest product, Cover Countdown, is a phone application that allows users to pay cover for bars and nightclubs at a reduced price days in advance.

Ley, a 2011 graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education program, said he first got the idea for Cover Countdown while he was an undergraduate at UNC. But, he didn’t start developing the app until after graduation.

The app allows users to prepay event covers, pay the covers of friends and reserve booths for groups of people. The app also allows prepaying customers to skip long cover lines.

BiddRocket’s main focus for Cover Countdown is currently East End Oyster & Martini Bar’s weekly Country Night on Tuesdays, but Ley is in the process of expanding it to include Goodfellows, He’s Not Here, Players and The Library.

Cover Countdown utilizes a price-ticking mechanism — so the earlier bar-goers buy, the lower the price will be. Cover Countdown is free and available to iPhones and Androids.

Ley’s idea for Cover Countdown originated from watching the dynamics of how people make decisions about nightlife.

Ley said he tried to come up with a product that would help bars avoid the lulls caused by issues like bad weather while creating a cheaper and more enjoyable experience for bar-goers.

“There was just a way to make it much, much better so that’s what we did,” Ley said. “We built something.”

Hailey Salito , a junior business administration major, has been a sales intern for BiddRocket since April of last year.

Salito said Cover Countdown has been in the process of contacting fraternities and sororities in hopes of spreading the word and generating interest, both at UNC and Duke University.

Jaimin Patel , a sophomore economics major, is a product launch intern for Cover Countdown. Patel said he thinks the app is a great way to be sure of cover prices.

“We’re saving college students money, and we’re eliminating uncertainty,” Patel said. “That’s a victory right there.”

Both Patel and Salito got involved with BiddRocket through an on-campus marketing case competition last year.

“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been working on his concept for about two years,” Ley said. “The hard part is spreading it.”

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