ad:tech New York 2014 Startup Spotlight Series


All contestants:
Wilmington, Delaware, United States United States
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Company description

College is a unique time in our lives where everyone has unique schedules; during the week at any given time friends could be anywhere from class, their dorm room, the dining hall, to visiting friends back home. Navigating the social setting is difficult because you never really know who is available, which is very frustrating for college students as they are highly social creatures. As most of us are college students ourselves, we’ve experienced this pain first hand. We’ll often get out of class, have a couple hours to spare and decide to reach out to a few friends for a coffee or lunch. To our disappointment we often get replies of ‘Sorry, in class’ or ‘Already back at my dorm’ or even no response at all for hours. It is not the best feeling either; we know it is not rejection, but it can definitely feel like that. The problem is that there is a lack of information circulating about which friends are nearby and actively available to socialize in person. When we send messages to contacts during the day, we are essentially shooting an arrow in the dark. 

This is why we have created Whim, a mobile application that allows college students to socialize on an impulse by pairing contact lists (ranked by availability & proximity) with a stripped down invitation system. Users can open the app, see immediately which friends are available nearby as well and send out invites within seconds. With Whim we have struck a true issue with a viable solution. Our market research has proved that this is a product current college student’s empathize with and would use on a weekly if not daily basis. We will be proving this in the coming month with a 200 user beta group, then move onto the rest of NYU, New York City colleges, and the wider U.S. college market of 20 million students!

With our beta group we will be focusing heavily on user engagement and then move on to market growth. Fortunately Whim incorporates an element of inherent virality because users have the ability to invite friends that do not even have Whim yet. To kick start adoption though, we will utilize low-cost marketing technique such as community outreach events and campus group sponsorships. We know this product was what the masses of social college students will want, but how do we plan to monetize?

Whim actually suggests places where users can go when they send out invites, which creates a huge influence that Whim will have on the Food & Beverage industry where user concentration is high. We will monetize Whim by driving customers to certain locations that we partner with for a fee – and we already have six signed on in the NYU area. The fee will be determined based off of the Google Adwords bidding structure, as different locations will be worth different amounts (ex. Manhattan sugguestions are worth more than Wheaton, Illinois suggestions).   

We know Whim will be successful in the college setting, but we think it has potential to go beyond that as well. As we progress, we believe the basic services that Whim provides to social college students could be used in offices, at business conferences, and as a promotional tool. 

At its core, Whim helps people spend more time with their friends by being a fast, accurate, and efficient tool for connecting people. Whim is going places, and we hope you’ll join in and support!



Matt Oguz
Specialties: Strategy, business development, startups, software development, venture capital, alternative investments