Northeastern University’s own, Andrew Smith and Jay Shome, launched an interesting app recently, which seems to have been garnering attention in a short span. The app is called FriendsUp, which enables users to exchange contact information and connect via social media platforms in less than a second. This brainchild of Smith and Shome already has a catchy motto – “Friending made easy.”
“The goal is to make connections with new acquaintances as simple and as immediate as possible,” said Smith. “And there’s no other way to do that—unless you use FriendsUp.”
After you have downloaded the app, link your social media accounts to your FriendsUp account. You have total control over what information you wish to share. All this information then will be transformed into a personalised QR code for you. You can then get anyone’s information by just scanning each other’s QR codes – ‘friending’ has become that simple. Not only will their name and phone number be saved on your phone, but they will also get a notification to add you to their social accounts. Smith and Shome, engineering majors, incorporated the skills they learned in their respective co-ops so that they can make and promote an app that will be one of its kind.
“Running a startup goes hand-in-hand with sales,” said Smith. “It makes it easier to pitch investors if I had spent all day talking with executives from different companies while at work.”
While Smith was a co-op at America’s Test Kitchen and IBM Resilient, Shome was a project manager at John Hancock as well as a global real estate intern at the Boston Consulting Group. Shome said, “I’ve learned a lot about how to grow a company and how to get traction in the market”.
Smith and Shome won the Boston Startupalooza pitch contest for their achievements, which gave them free entry into the 68th New York Private Equity Forum. Currently, they are busy working with IDEA, lending a helping hand to create FriendsUp’s business model. What’s more, they are searching for brand ambassadors to expand the territory they can reach for their app. “We’ve spent a lot of time talking with users and finding out what they want in the app,” Shome said. “Most people have downloaded it right away and said, ‘Wow, I need this.’”
Smith and Shome now are planning to monetise their app by collaborating with companies and making QR codes for their contact information. “Companies often pay millions of dollars to increase their social media following,” said Shome. “And with a simple QR code scan, you make the whole process of connecting with people and businesses easier and less awkward.”