Pine-Richland teens create travel app that is getting attention from industry giants
Delivering a five-minute sales pitch to people who could help move one’s business venture in the right direction isn’t easy, but neither is designing an app when you’re still in high school.
Pine-Richland High School senior Arjan Guglani and junior Justin Waltrip have now done both.
Last year, the two created an app called Travel Time, which made its debut on Apple’s App Store at the end of October 2017. Recently, they were invited to participate in an event at the Pittsburgh International Airport held by Pittsburgh Technology Council’s nonprofit FortyXEighty, which exists to help the growth of entrepreneurship in Western Pennsylvania.
They were one of a number of groups and individuals invited to pitch to travel industry professionals, including corporate travel partners, agents and hospitality trade group members, but since it was on a Wednesday, they were the only ones who needed to be excused from the day’s high school classes in order to do so.
That was probably the easy part.
“It’s hard to give a presentation like that in five minutes because we’ve both worked on the app quite awhile and could probably sit there and talk about it for hours on end,” Waltrip said. “Condensing all the information we needed to tell people to introduce them to the product in five minutes was hard to do.”
Guglani got the idea for the app based on the needs that would often arise during his family’s frequent travels. He enlisted Waltrip, whom he’d met in math class two years earlier, to help with the design and marketing. The app included features such as telling users when to leave for the airport using live traffic data and security wait times, connection time alerts and maps.
They recently took the app off the store and are working on a redesign that will focus more on the aspects of Travel Time that users were accessing most.
Guglani attended a program called LaunchX this summer for high school entrepreneurs and knew what was required of a pitch.
“You have to tell the audience this is what we want and we want you to help us get there. That was the most challenging component, was trying to convince people to put their resources into us, but I feel we did a good job.”
Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.