Alumni Profile: Ross Lewis ’11
Ross Lewis ’11 of San Francisco, Calif., has taken his love of technology into several different directions.
“I love gaming!” he says. “It’s been a major hobby of mine for my whole life, and I’m so fortunate I’ve been able to create content and put on events that other gamers can enjoy.”
Last year, Lewis released an iPhone app called “Search Party Pocket.” (You can find it at the iTunes store by clicking here.) The app connects players and their friends to the world around them. “Get a group of friends and take turns determining what people are searching for online, the answers might surprise you,” the app’s promotion reads. “The amazing thing about Search Party is that the answers are always changing. Are the Olympics happening? Suddenly more people are searching about luge! Do you live in the southern hemisphere or northern hemisphere? This will affect what months people will be searching about the beach!
“The game is simple: Search Party will give you a phrase, then it’s up to you and your friends to guess what the most popular searches are that begin with that phrase. Learn about what people are interested in while having a great time.”
“My brother, Wesley Lewis, came to me with the idea,” Lewis says. “It seemed like a simple and fun project to take on. We focused on the flow of the game, and I coded it from top to bottom. All I had to do was submit it for approval to Apple, and, after a few revisions, they accepted it.”
Lewis says the app had a good amount of exposure and downloads at the beginning, but is now starting to fade.
“Working with my brother on it was a great experience, and I’m really glad we followed through with it,” Lewis says. “If we come across another idea, we might consider starting up another large project.”
In the meantime, Lewis has co-founded a start-up for which he has been doing numerous video game /table top game events in the Bay Area. Showdown eSports! includes viewing parties for video game events (like a Super Bowl party, but instead of watching football you watch a video game tournament). They recently started doing a regular Tuesday night game night in downtown San Francisco, getting 250 to 400 attendees every week.
“We want to expand into local tournaments and more gaming gatherings,” Lewis says. “Think of it as a huge nerdy living room, but at a bar. We have card games, video game consoles, gaming PCs, and drinks. Eventually, we are looking to partner with gaming companies to work on product releases or sponsored game nights.”
Lewis’ “day job” is as a data analyst at Talisman Systems Group in San Francisco. The business provides an interface for insurance companies to give their customers a way to display relevant data easily. They generate MedCards and worksite posters, and have basic data on any practicing physician in specific networks.
“Specifically, I work with importing a massive amount of data from our customers into our database to be accessed by our web tools,” Lewis says.
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