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BC Celebrity: BC Alums’ New App Helps You to “Rally” Friends

Ever feel like you and your friends make plans to meet up at some point on a weekend night but somehow you all get carried away, miss each others texts or have your phone die too early into the night and you never meet up? This no longer needs to be a problem thanks to the new app Rally, created by BC alums from the Class of 2013.

Want to find out more about this super convenient and helpful app for any college student? Her Campus got an exclusive interview with one of the founders, Josh Jackson.

What is "Rally"? How much does it cost? Who can download it? How does it work?

Rally is an iOS app that makes telling your friends where you are super easy. It’s FREE (always) and anyone with an iPhone can download it.

It works like Snapchat for your location. But instead of sending Snaps, you’re sending Statuses. A Status is your live location that expires after a period of time that you specify.

So, if you and your roommate are at different off-campus parties and want to meet up, you could share with each other on Rally for 30 minutes. In that 30 minutes, you could see each other moving on a map. Once the 30 minutes is up, you both disappear on a map. So it’s like Find My Friends but you obviously can’t track each other all day, all the time. It’s only when people want to share where they are, and only for short periods of time.

How did you come up with the idea? Did you work with other BC alum? How did you all meet and how was it to work with your friends?

We hated coordinating a night out with a flurry of redundant text message conversations. “Where are you?” “When are you getting here?” “Which bar should we go to?” “Are you lost?” “Where are they?” “Where am I?” With Rally you can share where you are and keep texting minimal. It’s also just simple everyday stuff, too. Now I can just send my mom an hour-long status before I drive down to the Cape, so I don’t get five calls on my way down - WHERE ARE YOU IS THERE TRAFFIC.

I’m working with Patrick Allen (Co-founder and CEO) and Matt Ricketson (Co-founder and Lead Engineer). The three of us are BC ‘13 grads. We’re working out of a co-working space in Fenway (a few floors under Jebbit, another BC startup). The three of us are mostly rainbows and sunshine, but sometimes we want to rip each other’s heads off. Doing business with friends is dangerous, but we’re lucky. The three of us are really good at not taking things personally. You have to be able to yell at each other for several hours, and then laugh about it over beers later that night.

We won first place at BCVC last year working on a different project and continued on to the Summer@Highland program, a startup accelerator run by a Venture Capital firm in Cambridge. During that program, we switched from our old project to Rally.

Did your experience at BC inspire you in any way in creating the app?

Yes, for sure. The three of us went on TechTrek, which is an awesome class. You study innovative companies from the inside out and then head over to California to visit them on a 10 day trip. I also co-ran the IS Academy which visits Boston-based startups and tech companies. Matt and Patrick were Co-Presidents of the Computer Science Society.

What did you major in with BC?

I was Information Systems in CSOM. Matt got a B.S. in Computer Science. Patrick got a B.A. in Computer Science and Philosophy.

Do you wish this app was around when you were at BC?

YES. I hated sending 4,000 text messages just to get a group to MA’s.   

With all the apps out there for college students to download, WHY should we download Rally? What sets it apart?

What’s really cool about Rally is that you can be the only one with the app, and it’s still really useful. You can send a status to anyone with a smart phone - the person receiving it doesn’t have to have the app. If they don’t have the app, it just comes as a link in a text message. They tap on the link, and a map pops up in Safari showing the sender’s live location. Obviously if they have the app the experience is a lot better - it comes in as a push notification and there are a bunch of other in-app features you can mess around with.

How long has it been out? Has it been popular with any notable Bostonians?

Yep. Not Bostonians, but Ashton Kutcher, Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, and Oprah are all using it…Kidding. We only soft launched last week, and we’re scaling up slowly so that we don’t break anything on the back end.

Do you see yourself expanding the app?

Absolutely. We have huge plans for the next month or two. This is just the beginning. Stay tuned!

Do you feel the BC community has supported you in your endeavors and can continue to support you?

Yes. Support from BC has been invaluable. In particular, Professor Gallaugher in the IS Department. And actually, we can value some of BC’s support. We got $20k from BCVC, and our mentor in the Summer@Highland program (which gave us $18k) is also a BC Alum named Dan Nova. Without BC’s support, we wouldn’t have been able to take such a huge risk and start a company right out of school.


Make every weekend night enjoyable with the easy capability to get all your friends together with this awesome new app. Check out Rally! http://taps.io/RallyHercampus


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