Too often do we get lost in the daily grind – stuck with our heads down, window shoppers in a fast-paced, high-stress environment. As all engineers can attest to, sometimes the hardest part has nothing to do with passing an exam, and a lot to do with seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
One of the greatest criticisms of the engineering student lifestyle is the cloudiness that comes with an intense workload – a cloudiness that, in a rather counterintuitive fashion, seems to take its toll on the creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
Booth & Bottle, a nightlife-inspired, tech startup with strong ties to the University of Toronto’s Computer Engineering program, is a prime example of what can be accomplished when creativity is not lost to the rigors of a demanding curriculum.
The Toronto-based company, co-founded by fourth year engineering student, Matthew Marji, leverages a cloud-based, mobile application to help curate nightlife events across the city. Users are able to explore what the city has to offer – from nightclub venues, events, and entertainment complexes – through a refined, city-wide directory, and instantly reserve their guest list and bottle service on-the-go.
To really engage users, Booth & Bottle also deploys a unique Activity-based Rewards (ABR) program, where perks and promotions can be unlocked based on your on-going nightlife participation. Free complimentary entries, bottles of premium vodka and champagne – even a booth on the house – can be unlocked by using the Booth & Bottle service.
Since operations officially began 6 months ago, Booth & Bottle has been attracting attention from some of the world’s most prominent figures in the tech community, and have just begun working directly out of the IBM Innovation Centre in downtown Toronto.
Boasting over 4000 active users across the city and remaining profitable throughout the development and launch phases of their project is a testament to Marji’s vision and expertise, something he attributes to his experiences at U of T.
When asked about his current outlook, the challenges he’s faced and the early successes he’s achieved, Marji had this to say:
“It’s really been a labor of love. Obviously, focusing on my academic career while balancing the duties associated with running your own business – especially one in such an innovative and dynamic field – can be a tremendous challenge. But it’s also extremely rewarding. Through the technical problems we encounter on a daily basis, I find myself constantly applying strategies and principles learned through my four years at U of T. Whether they include computer engineering principles or otherwise, one thing has remained a constant – I’ve always tried to incubate the creative, entrepreneurial spirit within me. I think it’s something all engineers, from all fields, intrinsically share, and shouldn’t be afraid to pursue. “