“A new nightlife app called Sizzle launched at Stitch’s Sports Bar on March 5.
Sizzle was developed by three UW Oshkosh students: Max Zirbel, Dan Brosman and Jordan Rhodes.
The app is currently available to download through the App Store and Google Play and has almost 800 users.
According to The App Store, Sizzle will help you, “find the hottest locations, drink specials and singles all in one app.”
Zirbel said the most difficult thing about launching an app like Sizzle was the necessity for a large amount of users before its full value is apparent.
Zirbel said the Stitch’s launch party was an effort to promote the app on a large scale.
“As with any beta, there are a few kinks to work out and tweaks to be made,” Zirbel said. “We greatly appreciate the support so far and ask that our fellow Titans be patient with us and continue to help test the app, and in return we will continue to have more awesome Sizzle events.”
Zirbel said the idea for Sizzle stemmed from commonly asked questions. Where should I go out, where are my friends and is the cute stranger sitting at the bar single?
“I hated walking to the bars with a couple of friends only to find out that we were the only ones there, or worse, find out that the bar we avoided ended up having the craziest night ever,” Zirbel said.
According to the App Store, the app allows users to check in at a certain bar or party by its address and rate the event, giving other users feedback.
“Sizzle lets you see which Facebook friends are at each bar and party, making running into friends easier,” Zirbel said. “It removes any question of whether you’ll know anyone at the party all the way across campus.”
Zirbel said the app shows users exactly who has checked in at each location as well as their profiles, which states their relationship status according to Facebook.
“One of the greatest things about college nightlife is the ability to be social and meet new people, except I don’t want to start a fight because I said ‘hi’ to the wrong guy’s girlfriend,” Zirbel said.
Zirbel said they made great efforts to protect users’ privacy and make sure Sizzle will not be used as a “stalkers dream app” or a “party busting app.”
“For example, you can only see which user is at an event if you are friends on Facebook,” Zirbel said. “We also took steps to protect event hosts by allowing them to only share the location of their event with users they choose to “accept” after viewing their profile picture, bio and mutual Facebook friends.”
UWO student Heather Wolf said she downloaded the app and plans to use it before going out to see which bars are the “hottest.”
“I guess people could use it to find someone, like a very localized Tinder,” Wolf said. “If it catches on and everyone is using it, I think it would be successful.”
Wolf said she had a great time at the Sizzle launch party.
“It was definitely a good marketing strategy to have everyone who wanted free shots to download the app.”
According to Zirbel, the party featured a themed beverage called the “Sizzler”.
“Overall the launch party did a great job of providing a crazy Sizzle celebration as well as spreading the word about the app,” Zirbel said.
UWO student Harley Schebel said she downloaded Sizzle and that it will greatly benefit the bar scene.
“There really isn’t an app out there that focuses on the bar scenes,” Schebel said. “I think it should be a success. It has a clever concept.”
Schebel said she attended the launch party in support of the app.
“The launch party was so much fun, and I think they did an awesome job promoting the app,” Schebel said. “I honestly have never seen Stitch’s so busy, and the DJ was playing great music.”
Zirbel said in the weeks to come, there would be more improvements to the app and also a new photo feature.
“This allows users to peek into each event to see pictures that were taken from all campus nightlife events and keep your own photo story in case you want to re-live your crazy night the next morning.”
Co-creator Brosman said they wish to expand Sizzle to about six or seven key universities to reach a success point of over 10,000 users.
“At this point our plan is to launch at one to two additional schools before the summer, in which we will then work to secure investment before launching next fall at a large university, such as UW-Madison,” Brosman said.
Brosman said the focus right now is to leverage the launch and users gained.
Over spring break we will be in Orlando, Florida pitching to alumni investors and the chancellor for an opportunity at an additional $10,000 in funding.
“We have a ton of development work to finish, funding to raise, and more importantly, a user base to build,” Brosman said.”