5 Austin startups helping students acclimate to college life

Kelly Jackson

August 24, August 29, September 1.

Just dates for most of us, but for a group of youngsters, these dates represent the first day of a formative chapter of life: college. Classes begin on those dates at the University of Texas, St. Edward’s and Concordia, respectively, and as Austin preps for its annual onslaught of new scholars, we wanted to highlight a few local companies making the big day a little less nerve-wracking.


Founded by two UT engineering students, KickIt launched last year in the hopes of changing the way classmates meet, interact and get together. Instead of relying on event boards with plans listed weeks in advance, KickIt provides a social network for students to get together on a whim based on shared interests. The chat app allows users to send invites to anyone who is online or within a certain group.


Roomify’s big box of college room essentials has you covered so you can avoid multiple trips to Target, Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond once you move in. Dorm and apartment packages include comforter sets, shower accessories, study utensils and more. Plus, they’ve recently started including the staples of a collegiate life: Ramen Noodles and Red Bull.


For students without a meal plan, or for those who want a break from the dining hall, Tastebud offers discounts to nearby restaurants. Users select a deal via the app, pay as they normally would with their linked debit card, then carry on as if no coupon was being used. The app will automatically refund the card behind the scenes. Discounts change regularly, with the company offering the biggest savings during off-peak hours.


Sometimes classes aren’t enough. For students looking to get some real-world experience, Condecca is here to help. Launched earlier this year, the platform shares and connects students with open positions at companies interested in hiring students for short-term projects or internships.


New to Austin? UCampus connects college students with their new communities. Its site includes info on local businesses and events, as well as campus alerts for groups students can join, upcoming activities, places to study and more. Since its launch in 2009, the Austin startup has created nearly 2,000 websites and social media accounts to support the growing number of businesses signing on.


Images provided by company websites and Shutterstock.

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