Student-Developed App Creates Safe Collegiate Marketplace
Textbooks, laptops and iPods are a few of the items sold on Echo Trades, a new app developed by Merrick School of Business senior Alex Greif and Towson University senior Scott Knowles. Launched in January, the app provides a Craigslist-type marketplace designed to be safer and more secure because it’s open only to college students.
Greif, an undergraduate student in the School of Business’ competitive Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, met his business partner during a summer internship at Morgan Stanley. The pair told Technical.ly Baltimore that they had heard college students talk about scam attempts on services like Craigslist, so they implemented safety features when creating Echo Trades to combat attempts at fraud.
Echo Trades requires a student ID to register and avoids any cash exchanges through an in-app payment system. Whether users want to buy a pair of shoes, meet a roommate or find someone to fix a computer, Greif says students can feel comfortable because “It’s nice to know who you’re doing business with.”
Greif, who manages the app’s development team in India and handles both marketing and finances for Echo Trades, says he and his partner have plans to continue enhancing the app by expanding the network of participating colleges, adding features such as the ability to search by location and more.
As of May, the app is available to students at UB; Towson University; the University of Maryland, College Park; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Download it for iPhone or Android.