Altimeter expands horizons with new features and new markets

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The team for Altimeter, an Oklahoma Christian University startup that leases the Ethos app technology to sister schools and other businesses, is working on adding more features for easier use and making additional sales for their software.

As a part of the Altimeter team, students and faculty at Oklahoma Christian recreated the Ethos software two years ago to help students from neighboring universities track their spiritual goals. Now a team of four continues to cultivate the software, targeting new markets and adding on to the technology.

The acting CEO of Altimeter, Russ McGuire, said the team has been reasonably fortunate with the startup.

“In the fall of 2016, [Abilene Christian University] started using it and they’ve been pretty happy with it,” McGuire said. “In the spring, they’re going to start using it for residence hall check-in for curfew, so they’re using it for a couple of different things. We also sold it to Southwestern Christian University and Fort-Worth Christian High School, and Oklahoma Christian Academy is planning on using it in the spring for their spiritual development.”

According to Connor Brewster, a computer science major and developer for Altimeter, the current team is polishing and adding new features to the current software.

“Lately, I have been working on adding Bluetooth beacon support to the iOS app,” Brewster said. “This allows event proctors to start a Bluetooth beacon. The iOS app on a student’s phone looks for these beacons and allows the student to check in to the corresponding event for the beacon.”

Jonathan Troyer, who has been working on the software’s website, said the team is making good advancements, considering their limited resources.

“Sometimes it’s slow, because we don’t have a lot of developers on it,” Troyer said. “But, overall, we’ve made really good progress, and it’s kind of interesting to see how such a small team can build such a large app that supports literally thousands of users in a relatively short amount of time.”

Troyer said Altimeter has given him a chance to gain impactful, real-world experience while still in school.

“Altimeter is probably going to be the crown jewel of my resume,” Troyer said. “This is something where I can show big corporations I’ve made something impactful. I’ve made something that multiple colleges and universities use, and I did a lot of it on my own.”

Austin McRay, who is in charge of marketing and sales for Altimeter, said they are hoping to add more features to the program in the near future.

“We’ve been working on adding additional functions and really just getting the software to be bulletproof,” McRay said. “We’re just making sure everything in our software is clean and in the future, we really want everything to be automated. Right now, if a new customer comes on, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get that customer up and running. We’re wanting that to be all automated online, so that’s one thing that’s ahead of us.”

According to McRay, the Altimeter team wants to target new markets and new approaches to selling the software.

“For this past year and a half, we’ve been laser-focused on one market and selling our software for really one application, which has been for transforming spiritual life on Christian campuses,” McRay said. “That’s great, but we really want to expand our horizons and go after additional markets and maybe even go after the same market, but different applications. I think we’re going to start targeting universities as a whole and showing that our software can be used as the ultimate student engagement platform, being able to measure engagement in every area of a student’s life on campus.”

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