By Jade Glaister
It’s a lovely weekend night, there’s finally no sign of snow in the sky, and you decide to take a refreshing break (after another painful week of studying) to walk around Downtown Golden. This town offers many activities and spots to adventure around and keep you occupied, so you decide to escape from your responsibilities further by delving into another life. HiNight, an app developed by Mines students, allows users to become physically immersed in a story. When in an area, users can see the different stories available and walk to a starting point to begin. Once start is hit, the user will receive their first clue, beginning the story. After a few more clues and spots, they will eventually be led to a business associated with the app, receiving a discount or other related reward at the business, bringing their story to an end. If inspired by the stories in this app, there is also the opportunity for users to submit their own stories, allowing for others to engage with them. Have you ever seen a Youtuber or TikToker become famous and wanted to be just like them? HiNight follows a similar model, rewarding the creators of popular stories!
This startup was founded by Sam Fiorica, with the help of fellow Mines students at the time Jacob Bejarano and Matthew Kline. The idea began in 2019 by Sam as simply a scavenger hunt where users could compete and win prizes. It was later brought back during a project in one of Professor Saleh’s economics and business classes when Sam had to pitch an idea, allowing him to explain his initial idea to others, leading to the idea’s evolution. With this, the scavenger hunt was disregarded, businesses were brought in, and the app became more story-based. The Mines Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation provided lots of aid to Sam and his team to develop their startup and launch the app. Despite the many hardships of startups – facing multiple setbacks and having to come back from them – the team was resilient and stuck with it. Sam discussed that the highlight and most rewarding part of the process was seeing his idea talked about by others and brought to life, especially as he watched it go from a slideshow mockup to an actual application. The process has been a plethora of ups and downs, but Sam is happy to have experienced such a rich and incredible learning experience throughout it.
Currently, the app is in its beta-testing phase as Sam and his team are constantly receiving feedback and making changes to ensure that the app operates smoothly and is perfected. During this phase, anyone is able to download and use the app, either to write stories or experience them. Any Mines student that tests and provides comments on the app has the potential to receive gift cards. To download the app or learn more about it, check out HiNight’s website at www.hinight.app or email Sam directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.