Paradise Valley teen helps create innovative traveling app

The Travelot team (submitted photo)

The Travelot team (submitted photo)

A team of four students, including 15-year-old Paradise Valley resident Ariana Sokolov, created a mobile platform to connect travelers to locals for a more authentic traveling experience.

The Travelot team, made up of four students ranging in age from 15 to 17, strives to give travelers the “local experience” by allowing locals to post activities and travel experiences that travelers can buy through a mobile app and website, according to a press release.

Some experiences sold on the website include a morning running group, tire throwing, and shopping for local art.

The high school aged team is part of MIT Launch, a summer entrepreneurship program held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

They  handle every aspect of the company, from market research to accounting. Ms. Sokolov is coding the website and iOS application on her own.

“I fell in love with coding when I was eight, and haven’t stopped since,” said Ms. Sokolov in the release.

She currently has two apps on the app store and won an Apple Student Developer’s Scholarship to Worldwide Developer’s Conference this spring. She also won the 2015 Congressional App Challenge this winter and last year’s state-wide CodeAZ Challenge.

Although the program only lasts four weeks, the team plans on continuing the company after Launch ends. They have already surveyed over 150 people about the idea and have over an 80 percent approval rating.

“We have found by isolating our target customer that there are real customers who have this need,” Ms. Sokolov said in the release.

The team is already looking to partner with small businesses, possible investors, brand ambassadors, and customers to participate in their beta launch next weekend.

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