Health and wellness events go mobile with GoStrive, an app created by local professor to search and register for activities

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Andrea Anderson
Saturday, January 25, 2014

WHITEWATER — Parents can register children for local swimming lessons, gymnastics and art classes using a mobile application developed by a UW-Whitewater professor and his nine-person team.

The app, GoStrive, launched in May 2013 and now the GoStrive team has the goal of connecting 1,000 agencies in February and March.

Founder Choton Basu, associate professor of information technology at UW-Whitewater and director of the university's Global Business Resource Center, began working on the app in 2012.

For 10 years, he watched his son participate in Fort Atkinson Parks and Recreation activities. During that time, he pondered how to make it easier for the community to find and partake in local activities.

“It's very much engaged in solutions and engaging the community and getting agencies on board,” Basu said.

It's also about promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“We want to make sure with all the obesity issues that this is something that promotes wellness,” Basu said.

Slipstream, Basu's company and parent company to GoStrive, is partnering with the National Recreation and Park Association to launch the app that has connected with 100 agencies in 22 states. The majority of the agencies it has connected with are in the Midwest. It is exclusive to Parks and Recreation agencies at this time.

The app allows consumers to be proactive in their search for local activities.

Users create a profile by entering their location and payment information so they can then browse area activities, register and pay all from their fingertips.

Instead of waiting for a catalog in the mail, consumers can pull up the app and search digitally.

It also cuts time spent filling out applications, waiting in lines and being away from work and helps agencies expand their audience, Basu said.

A number of park and recreation facilities and agencies still rely on paper and pen registration, Ellie Humphrey, GoStrive marketing director, said. The app is one way for agencies to jump into expanding technologies.

“It's becoming click, purchase, register, done, and that is a huge step in the right direction for some of these agencies who could have had a better reach in their community but didn't have the tools to get them there. Now we're stepping in as that tool,” Humphrey said.

On Tuesday, Madison School and Community Recreation, a Madison Metropolitan School District department, became the latest agency to display its list of activities on the app.

Whitewater Parks and Recreation was the first to sign up and played a large role working out the app's kinks.

The app is free to download.

Organizations with systems compatible with GoStrive pay no fees for event listings. Instead, customers who sign up for those organizations' events pay a $1 fee to GoStrive.

Organizations with systems not compatible with GoStrive pay monthly fees of $29 to $249. Customers who sign up for events listed by those organizations pay no fee.

The company has several hundred clients across the U.S. waiting to become listed agencies. Some include libraries that want to list reading programs, hospitals wanting to list programs or meetings, and governments looking to be transparent by displaying upcoming committee meetings.

The app is a resourceful tool for travelers, too.

Humphrey frequently travels for her job and says it is convenient for finding things to do.

“It's cool to be able to go somewhere and say 'Oh, I don't have anything to do, I wonder if there is something interesting near by,'” and use the app for that, Humphrey said.

The same can be said if you're new to town, Humphrey said.

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