Post-Tornado, Luke Irvin Hatches Idea for #ARWX App

Serial entrepreneur and iOS developer Luke Irvin of Conway was at home with his wife Jackie on April 27 when the tornado hit.

The Irvins live between Conway and Vilonia, and while they were OK, many residents around them weren't. The storm and its deadly aftermath spawned an idea: an app to provide a list of tweets that the include the Twitter hashtag phrase #arwx

"I was sitting in my living room watching the news with my wife while also browsing #arwx on Twitter," Irvin said. "I pulled out my iPhone and started searching to see if any other developers had built anything utilizing #arwx and didn’t find anything. I started coding right away."

The app currently is available for iPhone, iPod Touch and Android users (iPad coming soon), and updates are planned. Eventually, Irvin wants to donate proceeds from the app to the Arkansas Dream Center, a project of Conway-based New Life Church.

Irvin reached out to his friend Cotton Rohrscheib of Pleth to hook him up with the Dream Center, whose volunteers were among the first on the scene after the storm and made an impression on him.

Irvin believes his app will make it easier for Arkansans to track future storms.

"This way users can keep up-to-date quickly on Arkansas weather updates through the voices of people throughout the state," he said. "Users can also tap a button to send out a tweet that already has the hashtag included. We have also provided a list of where people can go to help. This list will continuously be updated."

Irvin recruited Edward Briggler of LemonPro to develop the Android app and local photographer Zack Andrews of Arkansas Wallpapers to provide background photos for the iOS version.

"Edward has done an amazing job on the Android app," Irvin said. "He's included more options to get updates which will be coming soon to the iOS app. I asked Zack if I could showcase a photo in the app, and he sent one over right away. I really want to do more within the app to showcase the beauty of our state."

The #arwx app is the latest for Irvin, an iOS developer for 52apps. He founded Irvin Media to house his numerous ventures which include the successful placement of 12 apps in the iTunes store. Plus, Irvin is a member of the team that produced the talentt app, which launched at SXSW, was a finalist at the 2014 Donald W, Reynolds Governor's Cup, and helped christen the LaunchPad startup competition in Conway.