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The Stanford Daily talks about

January 23, 2007

New site lets users go bananas, launched last week, compiles campus events

Ever wish there was an easy way to find Stanford events that you would be interested in? Enter Internet startup, which launched its Web site last week.

“BananaLoop wants to make sure no one misses out on interesting events happening around them,” said BananaLoop co-founder Elbert Hu, a bioengineering doctoral student who started the company with his brother Hubert.

The BananaLoop site seeks to connect event planners with possible attendees. Users create a profile of keywords, and event planners can narrow down possible attendees based on their keywords.

“At a school with a social scene as lively as Stanford’s, it’s hard to keep up with what is going on,” said mechanical engineering graduate student Dan Strickland. “BananaLoop seems to fill a need by connecting people with the things they like to do. I’m surprised it wasn’t thought of sooner.”

Hubert Hu noted that the use of keywords can sometimes be limiting. So in addition to keywords, event planners ask questions to determine who should be invited. For example, students likely wouldn’t think to have “Lunar New Year” on their keyword profile, so an event planner can instead invite people who respond in the affirmative that they celebrate Lunar New Year.

Elbert and Hubert Hu plan to add at least two new features to the website before spring quarter: an RSVP function and the ability to create event distribution groups. The latter would be useful for someone like a resident advisor who wants to inform just her residents about an event.

As the service matures, the two brothers hope to expand it to other schools and cities.

“The idea is that if you’re traveling or moving to a new city, you will be instantly connected to all the interesting things happening in that area,” Hubert Hu said.

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