Interview with Karolina Demianczuk
Using the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Spontime connects two people who want to perform the same activity at the same time - e.g. coffee, jogging, or lunch. Check out Spontime here
Hi Karolina! Could you please introduce your work with Spontime and tell us a bit more about what led to your founding the company?
Hi, my name is Karolina Demianczuk and I'm the founder of Spontime. Spontime is a spontaneous meeting mobile application that connects people who want to do the same activity at the same time, such as coffee, jogging lunch, dinner, movies and more. I got the idea for Spontime during my time overseas. I was travelling a lot. I'm originally from Poland and it's very easy to travel. Very often I would go away for a weekend to Paris, Dublin and London to visit my friends. But sometimes, I went by myself. When I went by myself I didn't know anyone, but I wanted to go to a museum or go sightseeing or just meet some people. But it was always very hard. The actual idea came about when when I was doing my internship in Washington D.C. I didn't know a single person there. I was trying to use other apps, but all the other apps were dating or meeting. I realised that after a week, I hadn't met a single person. Then I realised I was bored and if I am bored in Washington D.C, there is at least 100 people who are bored as well and who want to grab lunch or coffee. That's when I realised that there is no app that can bring these bored people together.
What did the process of developing the app itself look like? How did you develop the AI utilized by the platform?
The process of developing the app was very painful for me because I have no tech experience. My background is in business. Before I started the project, I didn't know what backend and frontend meant. You can imagine it was very hard for me to get into the project, but luckily I didn't have to develop the app myself. We have a team of six engineers and they are the best, dream team we could ever imagine. First, we started to draft the designs and the first prototypes and we tested them. We created seven different prototypes of the app, which were different ways of how we could connect people together spontaneously. We tested that with users. Based on the user feedback and what they told us they liked and what they didn't like, we created the final version which we then developed.
What has been the feedback from users? Why are they exasperated with traditional social media platforms?
The feedback we have received so far is very positive. That's a good sign that we should keep doing what we're doing. I think that people would say that they are in need of meeting other people in real life. I think we are all just tired of digital connections and spending time chatting or calling, rather than meeting offline. I think that nothing can really substitute a real, face to face interaction. That's what I also noticed from the emails or messages that I've received, that people are happy that there's a social network that helps them spend less time on social media and more time in real life. They also like the idea of spontaneity. Very often we make plans that we're going to meet next week or on the weekend with our friends, but last minute someone cancels. Our app will hopefully make it easier for them to meet someone quicker and faster and cherish their real relationships.
How does Spontime compete with potential competitors like Meetup? What does Spontime offer that other meetup apps don't?
I like the questions about the differences between Spontime and other meetups and our competitors. First of all, we're not trying to compete with Meetup or any other event or dating app. We're doing something very different. Meetup is focused on big, group, formal, organised and impersonal events. On Spontime, we focus more on spontaneous everyday activities such as movies, hiking, yoga or whatever you want to do. First of all, Spontime is more personal rather than a group event. Another difference between us and other similar apps that help you meet new people, is that most of the other apps are focused on dating. We are not a dating app. We're more of a platonic activity friendship app.
What's next for your work with Spontime? What are the main services, markets and partnerships you'll be focusing on throughout the next year?
Our main focus is currently fundraising. We would like to raise more funds for growth. We've received very positive feedback from users and we are ready to enter the broader market. First, we want to focus on the American market. Starting with big cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta. That's our first market and also we would like to start on college campuses. Another plan for this year is to develop a business platform, so we can invite venues and businesses to our app that can offer our users great promotions and deals if they meet up and visit that venue. We're very excited about the next year and we're looking forward to seeing what happens.