Kelowna students creating app to connect Okanagan hikers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna students creating app to connect Okanagan hikers

Grade 11 Okanagan Mission Secondary students Sam Bekkering (from left to right) Keiren Rice and Zane Halperin are the creators of the hiking initiative Alltrek.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Keiren Rice
March 13, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Three Kelowna high school students are aiming to create an app that can connect Okanagan hikers together and build an online community.

Okanagan Mission Secondary secondary school students Keiren Rice, Zane Halperin and Sam Bekkering created the Alltrek initiative together during their time in teacher Tyler Jensen’s business and marketing class. They’ll be launching their idea as part of the annual iGen Challenge.

"The iGen challenge is for Grade 7-12 students that want to innovate and engage with entrepreneurship. Students gain access to mentors from local businesses and find solutions to real-world problems. Students are guided through a start up process to create enterprises, find funding, build a network and make an impact in the innovation ecosystem in the Okanagan," according to the competition's website.

Currently the trio is still developing the app, but plan to launch it within the next four to five months, Rice said.

“Our group is currently living here in the Okanagan and we find that the trails here are really beautiful,” he said.

Teenagers also don’t use Facebook, so even though the app will be for everyone, teenagers will also benefit from using it, Rice said.

The app will offer hiking locations and also opportunities for users to create their own profiles and bios, to connect with other hikers.

“We had to come up with the business idea, and my buddy Zane found with other hiking apps the process kept crashing on him and there wasn’t enough trails and he couldn’t meet up with anyone to hike with, so we decided to start working on an app that would streamline the entire process,” Rice said.

The avid hikers are hoping to also one day launch a hiking clothing brand that would compliment the app and lifestyle.

Rice said he’s excited to see how the app will connect Okanagan hikers.

“There are people who are interested in hiking, they just don’t have anyone to do it with,” he said.

Rice is currently getting the app off the ground in the coding department and testing to ensure it works, while his teammates handle the public relations and networking roles.

The iGEN Challenge kicks off today, March 13, after students submit their ideas through videos. Sixteen teams will then be chosen to pitch their ideas and winners are narrowed down from there.

For more information about the iGEN Challenge, visit the competition's website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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