Two Southern Adventist University international business majors were looking to solve a problem for people of their generation, so they created an application to simplify and aggregate social media.
They connected with leaders of The Company Lab and are turning their product, Spottlife, into a business.
“There’s so much information,” Spottlife co-founder Brandon Mihai said. “And you see the same crap over and over [on social media]. We had to hunt for the stuff we actually wanted to see.”
So, Mihai and his business partner, Scott Gammenthaler, both 21, partnered with Stone Soup Technology to create a system that analyzes status updates and photos from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram and then categorizes and personalizes them.
They have created 35 categories, from politics to fashion, so users can easily browse through aggregated updates, Mihai said.
The duo recently finished beta testing and submitted the product to the Apple’s app store. They find out soon if it has been accepted.
Mihai said that leaders of The Company Lab played a big part in helping them grow and develop as entrepreneurs.
“One of the big things they helped us with was helping us find mentorship and helping us build our business model,” he said. “We came up with the product, but it’s building the business behind the product that investors look for.”
The Company Lab has helped other young entrepreneurs, such as the co-founders of WeCounsel, and countless others get off the ground.
To get them to this point, Mihai and Gammenthaler raised about $100,000 through supportive community members.
That money has gone toward product development, service costs and initial employment costs, Mihai said.
When they started, they thought they could get the product launched for about $5,000-the reality that that wasn’t possible was one of the many things they learned through their experiences.
To help spread the word about their product, they are participating in the CO.LAB’s Will This Float? event Nov. 15.
And in the next month, they hope to hire a couple more developers, and over the next three months, they hope to gain 100,000 users and implement their own form of advertising, which will be exclusive and possibly done through a bidding system.
Sheldon Grizzle, co-founder of The Company Lab, said one of the first things that drew him to the Spottlife creators was their passion for their business.
“I really like the way they are approaching things because everyone’s social media feeds are becoming too overwhelming to read,” he said. “It was especially helpful for me when I wanted to know what all my friends were saying about the election or about college football on Saturdays.”