Texas Tech University

A New Way to Engage with Businesses

Kathryn Dankesreiter, Innovation Hub Team

September 12, 2022

BlueVerse launches new app that will change the way you interact with local businesses!

They say “knowledge is power” and that couldn't be more true in a world that relies on big data generated by over 4.7 billion people using social media. Businesses pull user analytics, invest in customer discovery, measure themselves against competitors, and so much more based on data from digital media. But what does the user get in return?

Enter BlueVerse. BlueVerse is an exclusive, invite only network of verified people. By keeping their network clean of bots, BlueVerse connects their members with top businesses in their area. BlueVerse Members can receive exclusive rewards from local partnerships. The most engaged and active members will have the opportunity to receive daily cash rewards!

Business Partners get clean, verified data, while Members receive a new platform to interact with businesses while being rewarded for their engagement and being in control of the information that they share. 

This team appeared at the Texas Tech Innovation Hub last spring and hasn't left since. BlueVerse, led by co-founders Mason Still, Alec Hernandez, Taylor Brewster, and Drew Pickens, may have entered to win a spot in the Texas Tech Accelerator Program last year, but that's not where their story begins. 

In the Beginning There was Man and the Internet

The undergraduate students began their entrepreneurial journey within their fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. As leaders of their chapter, they gained experience managing a large budget and forming professional relationships. 

Alec Hernandez, the Chief Operating Officer of BlueVerse, said, “All of us had an entrepreneurial spirit and we wanted to come together to form some type of business in Lubbock before we graduated.” It was when then they learned about large social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, gaining revenue from user data that their idea came together. 

The four Rawls College of Business students reengineered how these apps interact with their consumers and developed an innovative CRM for businesses and users.

The Next Big Thing in Big Data

“We have two sides of our platform: users and businesses,” explains Hernandez, “For our users, we are rewarding them for the data and ad revenue they generate. 

Through customer discovery we found that businesses also didn't like the traditional arrangement forced on them by social media platforms. Businesses pay thousands of dollars to promote their product or service through digital ads but only get views, a couple clicks, and a new customer here or there. BlueVerse allows businesses to have direct engagement with their customers leading to a higher return on their marketing budgets.”

As the team was starting to gain traction and designing their beta platform, Alec's friend forwarded him an email about the Texas Tech Accelerator Program. “When I read about what the program entailed, I knew BlueVerse would be the perfect fit.”

Join the .club!

Through the 2021 Texas Tech Accelerator Competition, BlueVerse competed with eleven other startups and won their place in the 6th Cohort of the Accelerator Program. Their innovative solution to one of today's complex problems ultimately won them their place in the cohort. 

However, they're not just a part of the Accelerator Program, they're also the Innovation Hub's newest tenants! BlueVerse has staked out prime office space on the first floor where they sport several desks and plenty of brainstorming space.

It's a whole new world for these entrepreneurs and they're just getting started. “We have a functioning mobile app for users and a website for our businesses. We will be doing our beta launch in Lubbock in August, so stay tuned!”

When asked what they've learned so far as entrepreneurs, Alec shared that the best advice he can give others is to “Start something that you are genuinely excited to be working on. If you're starting a new business to make a lot of money, forget about it. You need to have that passion that comes from chasing something that you are truly excited to bring into the world.”

Want to learn more about this Texas Tech Accelerator team? Check out their profile on our website!