Photo - Squaddd
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Squaddd

Build friendships, not friend lists.

USA, Illinois
Market: Services
Stage of the project: Idea or something is already done

Date of last change: 09.05.2020
Min investment
$  100.000
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Total required
$ 250.000
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Idea

Squaddd is a platform designed to help people connect with others in a more meaningful way. We match people based on their personality, interests and send them to local events. No more swiping. No more awkward one-on-ones. Real people, small groups, memories, and friendships.

Current Status

To see if the idea of SQUADDD resonated with our target audience, we performed market tests at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in late Summer 2019. Over 85% of the student focus group had a positive response towards the initial concept. We launched our beta during the first week of the Fall 2019 semester and were pretty successful with initial marketing efforts gaining 200 signups. The overall test was very successful sending small groups to local free Chicago events. We also found that college students were willing to pay for the service - for example: at one paid event we hosted, we made a profit of $100.

In Spring 2019, SQUADDD participated in IIT Intinium's pitch competition.

As of 2020, we are developing a SQUADDD web application and have three partnerships.

SQUADDD has a website, logo, and social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).

Market

Initial market: college students and young adults between the ages 18 - 26

Problem or Opportunity

First problem: Since 1985, the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has increased by 15%; this insinuates that this global world is becoming more disconnected locally. College students specifically are suffering, as the younger generation is more prone to depression due to the technological addiction. SQUADDD uses that same addictive space to proliferate meaningful connections by taking advantage of real-time matching and scheduling to help people come together and interact in the real world.
All other platforms either encourage 1-to-1 interactions or force individuals to take part in a large gathering with 50+ strangers. By creating small groups of people based on interests, we provide people the opportunity to build truly organic and meaningful friendships.

Second problem: Existing friend groups find it difficult to make plans to see one another on a frequent basis.

Solution (product or service)

Our first solution is accomplished by designing an application to help people make friends out of strangers.
How is this accomplished?
1. Verification of users to eliminate fake profiles.
2. No swiping of profiles - allows for "real life randomness" in regard to pairings of strangers, which eliminates possible inherent bias.
3. Exclusive pairings of groups between the sizes of 4-8 ensures that everyone shares at least one common interest.
4. Personalities play a role in matching - groups will not be all extroverts or all introverts.
5. Provide new squaddds (friend group) with a fun first event eliminating human indecision and enabling an easier method of making meaningful connections in life.

Our second solution is accomplished by allowing existing friend groups to continues have fun experiences together.
How is this accomplished?
1. Friends are allowed to add one another in order to a group (their squaddd).
2. SQUADDD application eliminates the indecision from the decision-making process by providing squaddds with weekly planned events based on their similar interests.
3. Offering a variety of experiences (music, culture, food, etc) helps squaddds (friend groups) make meaningful memories.

Competitors

- Bumble BFF (https://bumble.com/bff): Allows users to swipe to find a new friend
- Friender (https://frienderapp.com/): Allows users to make a profile based on his/hers/their interests to find a new friend
- Meetup (https://www.meetup.com/): Allows users to browse events to attend
- Skout (https://www.skout.com/): Allows users to meet new people in over 100 countries

Advantages or differentiators

- Bumble BFF: SQUADDD reduces the time it takes to find friends by eliminating swiping
- Friender: SQUADDD does all the work for our users to match individuals through pre-planned experiences/outings
- Meetup: SQUADDD offers small group experiences focused on the opportunity for our users to develop friendships
- Skout: SQUADDD focuses on local long-term connections

Money will be spent on

- Hiring developers for mobile applications (iOS, Android)
- Handling backend operational costs
- Fronting initial costs for partnerships
- Licensing fees

Team or Management

Risks

- COVID-19 may change the dynamic of group interacts in the near future (between 2020 - 2021).
- Any online to physical meet up faces a chance of no-shows.
- Initial partnering with local businesses may result in little to no discounts meaning we will eat a lot of the initial cost.
- Initial scaling of application will be exponential, we need to ensure we have enough partnerships and efficient technology to handle this.
- Like any service, we want to ensure quality events for friend groups to enjoy.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

- Future Founders Startup Bootcamp (Fall 2019)
- Y Combinator Startup School (Fall 2019)
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