Tired of trying to grab a coffee in between classes only to be met with long lineups? If so, KnowLine might be the solution. Like the name suggests, KnowLine is an application designed to let you know about the status of a lineup at a given place. The app was created by four uOttawa students who shared a dislike for long waits and decided it was time for a change.

“Waiting is inevitable in everyone’s daily routine. It’s a pain point that we’ve grown accustomed to. The idea of KnowLine came from wanting to create a wait time-sharing network that would remove these pain points,” explained Chad Malouin, fourth year student in the Telfer School of Management and one of the founders of KnowLine [This link is no longer available].

The crowd-sourced application is available for all mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Blackberry), and in its initial phase, has focused on helping students deal with lineups at university services. According to Greg Somers, the engineer in the group, this is an app that all universities could benefit from to ensure efficient time usage for their students.

This student-made solution to student problems started out as a class project that brought together Veronica Grajewski, a third year student in commerce and communications, Noah Hayes from Telfer, Greg Somers from the engineering faculty and Malouin, with the aim of getting the highest marks. But it grew beyond the classroom, and with coaching from their professor, Barbara Orser, the four realized that it was an idea worth implementing. “When we first introduced the idea to our class we received a lot of positive feedback. Our class then voted for us to attend the Wes Nicol competition, where we were encouraged to create something tangible, as there was a need for it,” said Malouin.

Starting a business whilst a student is never the easiest thing to do, and the KnowLine team can attest to this. As Malouin explained, what makes it even harder is the need to secure funding to get a product onto the market. He added that uOttawa’s resources designed to facilitate this process are helpful.

According to Somers, the team intends to market the product to bars and restaurants around the city looking to manage their wait-times. “Eventually we’d like to get into some data analytics and hopefully be able to improve hospital and airport wait-times by keeping patients and customers informed,” he said.

Are you an entrepreneur in the making? Or do you aspire to be one? Be sure to check out the many workshops taking place during Entrepreneurship Week [This link is no longer available] at the University of Ottawa.

by Louise Umutoni [This link is no longer available]