On the 22nd, this Wednesday in partnership with the Welcoming Association, in Edinburgh, we throw a launch party and letting the world be aware that HelloUni powered Welcoming association app is available for downloading across the app stores. It was a release that ticked all the boxes of a tech start-up modern product launch: last minute bug-finding and fixing, frazzled back-enders, frizzled front-enders, sustained on takeaway food, working through the weekend and having team meeting at Starbucks. The debates of regarding the best and most efficient way of finding and fixing bugs, and with risking to postpone the product launch, we finally as a team realised that the app development does not stop at the launch day, it is a  multi-step, multi-variate process. As one can tell from the group photo, everyone who was at the launch party did enjoy the product and thought it was worth the trip.

Given, we know there are bugs in the app, you would be forgiven for asking whether the launch party was a success. The short answer is yes, we think so. We are a start-up and despite having limited resources and being under a lot of pressure, we still delivered and released the app on time within the original time-schedule. This goal being met is not achieved by many start-ups. We also wanted to get an idea as to how people might use the HelloUni Welcoming app, and for that we needed more people to sign up.

 Photography: Giulia Martini

We had just over 60 people showed up at the event day and over 25 were the members of the charity, the feedback so far is positive as they loved the simplicity of the design as well as the practicality of the software. There was also broad agreement in terms of what the most requested features are:

  • timetables to check in to see who else are also attending the same session;
  • connect feature allows users to exchange contents and information without prior friendships or relationships in a hyper-local context
  • checklist to better prepare to settle down in the country.

Apart from the end users, we also have had representatives from education establishments, Scottish Enterprise and Royal Society of Edinburgh. From the universities we have had Alan Monteith, Senior Recruitment Marketing Officer (Recruitment and International Office) at the University of Glasgow; Anna Morgan, Head of the International Pathway Centre at the University of West of Scotland and Andrew Campbell, International Development Manager from Forth Valley College. We have had Martin Togneri who was the founding Chief Executive of Scottish Development International and former Dean of the Business School at Glasgow Caledonian University to give the keynote speech as well as convening the panel discussion. The panel gave a very enthusiastic response and covered a broad range of subjects: from their offerings to the migrants and international students, to why they should be choosing one particular university, to career prospect after the degree as well as the financial supports that are available to international students.

The funding bodies behind HelloUni and who makes it possible for us to offer the app free of charge to the users at the Welcoming Association were also presented at the event. Gavin Laird from Scottish Enterprise and Anne Fraser and Colleen Tait from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Check out more event photos,

What’s coming up

We are happy to announce that the app is now available to download in iOS app store, however, on the iOS it’s an older version, so our recommendation is for users to download the android version:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ionicframework.welcomingnew262842

We are continuously working on the debugging and making sure the user experience is as smooth as possible and will be updating the iOS version of the app in the next coming week. Keep an eye on us!