When a friend of Ron Miasnik ’22 had a disappointing tour at Princeton due to the lack of focus on physics, the major he hoped to pursue, Miasnik began thinking about ways to personalize the campus tour experience. The discussion ultimately inspired a STUDENT STARTUP AND A NEW APP, ADORA.
Miasnik partnered with Raya Ward ’21, Joseph Rubin ’22, and Sacheth Sathyanarayanan ’22 (a co-founder who is no longer involved with the project) to identify key issues, including accessibility, how to engage students with specific interests, and how to offer opportunities for those who cannot visit campus. They also connected with Princeton’s Office of Admission.
For the next year, the Adora team worked on developing the app, joining the Keller Center’s eLab Incubator program, which helps students with development, funding, mentorship, and launching of a product or service. Dan Levin ’86 and Ann Kirschner *78 served as advisers.
Through the app, users can select a premade tour or create a personalized one by choosing areas of interest, including majors and extracurriculars. The app generates a tour with the most relevant stops. Each location is interactive, with descriptions, videos, and photos, and navigation is included for those using the app while on campus.
The Adora team won first place in the Entrepreneurship Club pitch competition in February. In January, Princeton became the startup’s first customer. Pitzer College, Cal Lutheran University, North Dakota State University, and Presbyterian College in South Carolina have also signed contracts with the company.
The coronavirus pandemic upended a planned launch in May, but it also presented the team with a new opportunity: to develop better ways to engage with those who cannot physically visit campus. The app launched in the fall.
Emily Crosby, an assistant dean of admission, said she is proud of the students and believes their product will change the campus tour landscape. “It’s been a pleasure to work with them,” she said.