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About Us

People > Screens

Lookupp is a student-run social impact project that rewards users for putting down their phones when it matters most - around friends, family, and teachers. We are based in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Our Story

”Every Sunday when I was in middle school, my neighborhood buddies and I would beg our parents for money, run out the door, fasten our helmets, and cycle to the nearby Keg n’ Egg restaurant for breakfast. The server would seat us at our normal spots, and we were completely absorbed in each other’s company.

However, after we started high school, I observed a new trend at breakfast. We simply couldn’t put our phones down. We were right in front of each other, only a few feet apart, but not truly present. Our weekly conversations, which were previously filled with joy, laughter, and stories, have been replaced by quiet, isolation, and mindless phone scrolling. I no longer looked forward to breakfast as the months went by, and I felt increasingly alienated and lonely throughout the week.

I wasn’t the only one who felt like I was losing people because of screens. My younger brother went through something similar. My teachers, like myself, had lost students, I noticed. It didn’t stop there; I’d go to any of my friends’ houses and ask their parents how they felt about it, and they were just as frustrated as I was.

Both my brother and I spent nearly a year investigating dozens of apps and determining what to do to improve outcomes. I felt that limiting screen time is counterproductive in encouraging more screen-free people time. So, with the help of behavioral economics, the science of decision-making, we decided to create an app.

As we built this app, my community encouraged me. Lookupp was named the winner of a regional social innovation competition for high school students. I was recently acknowledged as a changemaker when Taco Bell/Ashoka Ambition Accelerator chose Lookupp as one of the top 25 social venture projects out of 300 projects submitted nationwide. The monetary assistance I got from Taco has pushed me to move even faster.


Put simply, we truly believe that the current generation is being slowly destroyed by excessive screen time; it is analogous to digital cocaine. And, for me, contributing to this problem is an inspiration in and of itself.”

- Samin Bhan (Founder)

Meet The Team


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