Advertisement

Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Around 1 million people were estimated to be in attendance at the parade.
One Dead, Several Injured During Chiefs Parade
Zach Gunter and Jazlyn SummersFebruary 14, 2024

Update:   As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the number of those injured at the Union Station shooting after the Chiefs Super Bowl parade...

UMKCDC regularly updates their practice schedule and have multiple sessions a month.
UMKC Dance Club Prepares for First Performance
Luis Marin, Staff Writer • February 14, 2024

The UMKC Dance Club wants to create a space for judgment-free dancing, one move at a time.      The new organization, also known as UMKCDC,...

The Rainbow Lounge can be found on the second floor of the Student Union.
The Pride Alliance Pushes for an Increase in Members
Manuel Rivera and Brenna OxleyFebruary 13, 2024

  After struggling to gain and keep members last semester, UMKC’s Pride Alliance club outlined their new agenda with plans to increase membership...

Valentines Day can be stressful for students trying to save money, luckily there are options to stay frugal and be fun.
Love on A Budget
Scarlett Gottschalk, Staff Writer • February 7, 2024

  As a college student, spoiling your partner without jeopardizing next week’s groceries on Valentine’s Day can be hard.   Here are...

Members of TAASU at a general body meeting.
UMKC's African American Student Union Brings Community for Students
Amina Shaw, Staff Writer • February 6, 2024

  The African American Student Union (TAASU) works to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for African American students by providing...

UMKC alumni trio creates app to help students transition to off-campus life

UMKC+alumni+trio+creates+app+to+help+students+transition+to+off-campus+life
Nolan McMichael, Brad Starnes and Joe Allen began working on Splitsy since 2021. (Startland News)

Brad Starnes and his co-founders, Nolan McMichael and Joe Allen, are UMKC students working to improve roommate relationships by solving the problem of money management and paying bills. 

The trio’s app, “Splitsy,” is made to automatically divide bills between roommates and control payments without the hassle of manually exchanging money.

The founders are students and graduate students at UMKC whose app was made to help solve a problem that they themselves faced. Allen mentioned that the idea for “Splitsy” came along when he and Brad were living with another roommate.

“We were having issues with splitting bills with each other and tracking who paid for what bill,” Allen said. “So we decided to try and build it ourselves, thinking it would be easy.”  

“Splitsy” is different from competitors on the market because it does the math for its consumers, and it connects directly to billers such as Evergy, T-Mobile and Google Fiber.

The app is free to use, however there is a service fee for certain payments like rent, auto loans or mortgages, which are all large payments that do not accept cards.

Starnes, McMichael and Allen began this project in January 2021 and launched the beta version of their app in January of this year.

The founders were able to apply what they were learning in the classroom to the real world and their business. McMichael mentioned the networking opportunities that UMKC provides as being a key factor in the app’s success.

“Surrounding yourself with a strong network of individuals is the key to driving continued success,” McMichael said. “And UMKC has been able to provide us with the tools and resources necessary to get to where we are now.”

Starnes was named the 2021 Bloch School Student Entrepreneur of the Year, but he does not take full credit for the award.

“While the award had my name on it, it was a representation of my team and the work we put into it,” Starnes said.

Each co-founder has a unique educational background that allows them to work more cohesively and focus on different aspects of the business.

Starnes has knowledge in business and information technology, while Allen is skilled in urban planning and design, and McMichael works the numbers in finance.

“Each one of us is different from one another with a differing set of skills or way of thinking through things,” McMichael said. “But our common interests allow us to use each other’s strengths for the benefit of the company.”

Customer feedback from the beta version of “Splitsy” has allowed the founders to pinpoint areas of improvement and where they can expand their app.

These advancements include being able to customize percentages on splits rather than splitting bills evenly, and adding bills to pre-existing groups.

While the trio of young businessmen has seen success in their product so far, there are always challenges that need to be faced and improved upon.

One of these challenges includes competing with billion-dollar companies that have many more resources. 

“Software development is expensive, and trying to build first-in-industry applications requires the kind of velocity that few early-stage startups are able to keep up with,” McMichael said.

In spite of this challenge, the founders of “Splitsy” still use a portion of the app’s profit to give back to their KC community.

“‘Splitsy’ is focused on giving back, especially in the Kansas City area,” Allen said. “Some of our marketing techniques are to partner with organizations, companies, etc. to help to donate to organizations throughout the Kansas City area.”

Starnes said the company was also working on a partnership with a local ice cream shop.

For more information and on how to download “Splitsy,” visit https://splitsy.app/ and view their Instagram or Twitter @gosplitsy.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *