Tuck Student Develops New Message Tracking App

Angela Orzell T’19 is developing an app called Nudg that helps you keep on top of calls, texts, and email.

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Developers of Nudg app
From left, Paula Mendoza D’19, Angela Orzell T’19, and Regina Yan D’19. | Photo by Eli Burakian D’00

Feeling overwhelmed by all the emails and messages that land in three different places on your mobile phone each day? 

Help is on the way: Angela Orzell T’19 is working on technology to keep track of that torrent. 

It’s a computer application called Nudg, and it would show a user, in a single display, a record of all communications received and sent to contacts over a selected period of time. Nudg would not show the content—just a log of the correspondence. “It’s a mechanism to track how you communicate over time, not what you say,” says Orzell. 

This winter, Nudg won the DALI Grand Prize at The Pitch, a high-energy Dartmouth event in which 20 groups try to sell big ideas in two minutes or less to panels of judges and the audience. The prize is worth $8,000 in technical support from DALI.

Now Orzell is working with Tuck professors, DALI (a lab where students design and build technological tools), and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network to create a prototype for Nudg. It will likely be designed for Android devices. 

Orzell recently met at DALI with some of her product development team—DALI members Paula Mendoza D’19 and Regina Yan D’19, and Gabriella Savage T’19. They’re working toward a tight deadline, because at least a preliminary version of Nudg will be unveiled on June 22 at the Digital Arts Expo, also known as DAX, an annual two-day showcase of work in technology, arts, design, and interactivity by Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff. Also on the DALI team: Kendall Ernst D’18, Jiachen Jiang D’20, and Tanya Shah D’20. Other Tuck students working with Orzell include Sarah Igoe T’19, and Jack Cai T’19. 

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember to follow up with people, or even to remember if you spoke with someone last week, because of how busy we are.

The idea for Nudg came from Orzell’s own need to stay on top of mail, messages, and calls she makes and receives each day. 

“At my previous job,” she says, “there was a focus on developing your own professional network. There are customer relationship tools that a lot of big organizations use. However, at the lower level it’s hard to obtain these expensive tools, so I had to track everything manually through Excel or calendar updating. And coming to business school, I realized that many of my classmates were in the same situation.” 

Savage says Orzell is one of the most talented entrepreneurs she’s met at Tuck, and she thinks Nudg will attract investors—if presented in the right way to the most receptive market. “I once worked for a small venture capital company, and we actually needed a product like this. I can help think through the fundraising process, figuring what a firm might be willing to invest in,” she says. 

Orzell says people are feeling increasingly unable to keep tabs on the social networks they build using smartphones. “In today’s world, we are communicating constantly using many means—email, phone calls, text messages, social media—and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember to follow up with people, or even to remember if you spoke with someone last week, because of how busy we are, and the impact of technology,” she says. 


Read the full story from Dartmouth News