Hooked On Hooked

Hooked On Hooked

An interview with CEO and founder Tim Rothwell.

College is stressful, with school work and trying to manage all of the things going on in your life I don’t think any of us truly realized what it takes to be a college student. Learning to live on less than $20 a week goes from a funny joke to a very real reality and at a certain point, you start to wonder how its possible to keep up with a social life when everyone always seems to want to get food. It wasn’t until one night at home when a friend said she was not going to get food unless it was on Hooked. I had no idea what this app was until she showed it to me and I think at that moment my (food) life was changed forever. Suddenly my absolute favorite restaurants were regulars on the app and after a couple of visits, I guess you could say I was hooked.

Hooked is taking the nation by storm near numerous college campuses across the United States including Texas A&M, where one in every two students have downloaded the app. The app has opened numerous opportunities for students everywhere and has helped so many relieve some of the financial burdens we have every day as college students. But for those of you who stumbled upon this wondering “what is Hooked?” here’s CEO and founder Tim Rothwell to tell you:

Odyssey: What exactly is Hooked?

Tim: “The hooked app allows students to discover new restaurants while saving money when deciding where to eat. For restaurants, Hooked is a platform which enables them to create time sensitive, exclusive deals, designed to engage with students on their phones and drive offline sales.”

Odyssey: How did you stumble upon the idea of Hooked? What was your motivation for inventing the app?

Tim: “My best friend and I were eating the same thing for lunch, every – single –day. Chipotle of course. We realized that students would greatly benefit from an app that shows them the best restaurants and deals going on in their college town. It’s an app that we definitely wished we had in college.”

Odyssey: What does your job entail as CEO for Hooked?

Tim: “Working closely with our sales and marketing team. Inventing the next iterations of the product. Fundraising. Recruiting tech talent. Strategy & Vision – which is my favorite. And finally, just making sure that the lights stay on, and Hooked is marching forward every day. I love it.”

Odyssey: What type of restaurants does Hooked attract?

Tim: “We aim to work with the restaurants on and off campus that are focused on attracting college students and local residents into their door. Rather it be a local, lesser known Mexican restaurant who launches a Taco Tuesday night through Hooked or teaming up with a well-known, popular restaurant to boost their mobile visibility. The restaurants we work with is the result of outbound sales and inbound restaurant inquiries.”

Odyssey: Is Hooked available everywhere throughout the country, or just certain cities?

Tim: “Hooked is available at 23 major college markets nationwide. The map of Hooked markets can be found on our website – www.hookedapp.com.”

Odyssey: Is the app designed just for college students or is it family friendly?

Tim: “It’s tailored to college students. However we have a considerable amount of faculty/staff, local residents, grads, and high school students using our app on a daily basis. Everybody loves getting great value on his or her purchase.”

Odyssey: In the future do you think Hooked would ever offer discounts from businesses other than food (clothing stores, entertainment, etc.)?

Tim: “Yes. Hooked is currently focused on gratifying the urge of hunger. We have future plans to gratify other urges, such as boredom, meaning local events and things to do will be eventually integrated into the app.”

Odyssey: What are your plans for the future of Hooked?

Tim: “Launch hundreds of college markets within the U.S. Integrate new features, such as events and potentially delivery. Expand Hooked into high schools and metropolitan communities that are millennial hotspots. We have a lot of exciting plans for the future.”

Odyssey: What sets Hooked apart from other apps?

Tim: “For restaurants, Hooked actually delivers. Rather it’s affecting mobile visibility, or boosting sales. Our restaurants see results. For users, given a number of restaurants that partner with Hooked, it’s extremely easy to select where and what you want to eat each time you open the app. Hooked helps you make your decisions easier. We think we’ve built a unique relationship with our users.”

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.


7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.


10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.


13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!


16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!


19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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