Student Announces New App by Sending Out a Fake Campus Shooting Alert

UNC is not amused

File this one under "unwise ways to announce your startup."

UNC student Taylor Robinette recently launched his new social networking app, Bevii, via email blast to his fellow students. Which might have been fine, except that the email was sent from and made to look like a campus shooting alert from UNC's crisis information site, Alert Carolina.

"At precisely 10:01 am yesterday," the email stated, "in broad daylight, shots were fired on Franklin Street." The email goes on to explain that “The victim is being described as a blue, outdated social network.” The perpetrator, of course, was Bevii.

The founder says he felt an immediate pang of maybe-that-was-a-bad-idea. "As soon as the email went out, we contacted the proper outlets and apologized," Robinette said in a phone interview with AdFreak. UNC, however, reacted to the marketing stunt by blocking the Bevii website and posting a "beware of fraudulent messages" alert.

When asked if any students were alarmed by the email, Robinette said, "To the best of our knowledge, nobody thought they were actually in danger." He says the Bevii team has seven developers, eight angel investors and about $300,000 in funds raised so far. Despite the email gaffe, he's confident he will have plenty of support to continue launching the app.