Dances are a common event at high schools across the nation. Despite the popularity of these events, three students at Herriman High School — Edison Velasco, Maelyn Dougher, and Peyton Williams — saw a problem. These dances can often be very difficult and expensive to plan and execute, especially when lead by students with limited event planning experience.
This problem is what lead them to develop AskManny, an app that makes it easy and cheap to plan school dances.
AskManny combines all the facets of planning a school dance into one easy-to-use platforms. For the students planning the dance, the app functions like a combination of Groupon and Yelp. It shows the students a list of discounts and deals that businesses want to offer for school dances and allows students to rate and review these discounts. For students who want to attend the dance, the app offers a simple, easy way to purchase and access tickets.
The team entered AskManny in the 2018 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge (HSUEC) and was awarded the second place prize and the top online vote award. Dougher said, “We wanted to participate in HSUEC because we saw the benefits of … showcasing our idea and learning how we can improve our idea and our presentation skills.”
Williams talked about the experience of competing in HSUEC: “The biggest thing that I got out of HSUEC was seeing … the entire process of developing a business.” He described the process that went into the development of AskManny: “We created a business plan around our idea…. We did a lot of research as well for our idea. We interviewed over 300 people…. We also created a 5- and 10-year plan and we were able to see how AskManny could progress in the future.”
Dougher offered advice for any high school students considering applying to HSUEC: “I would apply because I think the benefits that we’ve gotten out of it, not only the money that we won but also the experiences and the friends that we made with the other teams…. Being able to have those connections with other entrepreneurs is really impactful in your life.”