Agnes is revolutionizing campus social networking

At The George Washington University (GW) there are over 500 student groups (registered and unregistered) and about 4,000 events on- and off-campus available to students. This is according to data from Agnes, a social networking app.

It is impossible to find a concise list of events with so many options both on campus and in the city that it can often feel overwhelming. The creators of Agnes, Joe Nelson and Kai Keane, felt the same way when they moved to D.C. in 2015 after graduating from Cornell University. Despite having graduated, they wanted to come up with a more streamlined and organized way for college students to find groups and events that interest them. That is how the app Agnes was started.

Agnes is a free social networking app that makes getting involved in organizations and events easier. When you first open the app you put in your name, year, and major. Then you can filter results based on title, date range, map locator, and free food available. Yes, you read that correctly: free food. They were extremely cognizant of their audience and its most incentivizing motive to do anything.

You can filter results based on title, date range, map locator, and free food available.

In the company press release, Nelson stated, “Today's experience of finding out what’s happening beyond our friend groups is fractured and inefficient. Even with so much information online, there’s no centralized way to find out about what's happening around us and what we can do... Agnes solves that problem. It offers the largest collection of events and student clubs on campus and makes it easier to stay up-to-date with what's happening and what you care about most.”

In an interview Nelson explained the two functions of Agnes. The first is the discovery aspect, which targets freshmen and sophomores who are looking for ways to become engaged on campus. The second is group connection. In addition to finding events to attend, student organizations can use Agnes for better communication with prospective and current members. Nelson said this is, “Eliminating the problem of critical mass” because the app centralizes communication for preexisting groups. This aspect is aimed at juniors and seniors who are looking to strengthen their connections.

In addition to finding events to attend, student organizations can use Agnes for better communication with prospective and current members.

Agnes has been in the works since January 2016. The full-launch was this past August around the time of back-to-school. The headquarters is in Foggy Bottom, so Nelson feels like he is a GW student. He’s very much integrated in the startup community here as he knows and works with many of the student-run companies.

The name “Agnes” has a very significant meaning. “In Latin it happens to mean ‘efficient, powerful, and effective.’ Given the efficiency of finding events and groups for users and the power of a centralized information hub with a robust recommendation algorithm, we felt it made sense with what we’re trying to do,” reflected Nelson. Their mascot is an adorable penguin with a bowtie.

Screenshot of map function on Agnes

Screenshot of map function on Agnes

Presently, Agnes is operating at 20 schools in the Northeast with hopes to expand in the next year. It maintains over 7,000 active events and 10,100 student organizations.

Nelson reported there are 522 GW groups already on the app. So the next time you’re feeling inundated with information and/or isolated from happenings of campus, try using this app. As their slogan goes, “Waddle you do today?”

Originally published by Courtney Buble on gw.therival.news on 9.24.17.

CampusBrandon Bish