Saturday 10 December 2016

My Big Idea: Our new app connects people who have attended the same events

Published 28/01/2016 | 02:30

Conan and Ken dating app
Conan and Ken dating app

Dad of two Ken FitzGerald (39), from Dublin, is co-founder of Whatifi. It's a new app that reconnects people who have attended the same event.

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"I came up with the idea for Whatifi with my co-founder Conan Moriarty.

We were having a drink with a few friends in O'Donoghues pub on Baggot Street in Dublin after a rugby match.

Surrounded by a big crowd, we were discussing how difficult it is to actually meet new people at pubs and clubs. We've all had the experience of spending hours in a packed pub while managing to not speak to a single new person. People tend to stay in their own little groups. There was room, we realised, for a dating or friend-making app that was built around people attending the same events.

We started working on it 18 months ago. We have done everything in our free time as a side project; I am a sales manager at a technology multinational and Conan is a software developer at a start-up.

Our research established that people visit an average of two venues on a night out, bringing them together with 1,500 people - but they only ever interact with between three and five of those.

We also found that connecting people based on a shared venue or event is a much better way to match them than geolocation-based matching, which is used in apps like Tinder.

Your choice of bar, restaurant or concert indicates your taste, personality and even your socio-economic status.

Imagine if all the people who went Electric Picnic could meet each other online following the festival - there would be a lot of matches.

We launched the app in December for Android and IOS. It's a next-day service - that distinction is key. We reconnect people that attended the same events the day after.

We want people to go out and enjoy themselves and not have their heads buried in their mobile phones on the night. Nothing could be more anti-social.

Whatifi remembers all the places you visit on a night out.

The next day your timeline screen refreshes and shows those places. Users who attended the same events can then contact each other.

We have funded it in a couple of ways - with our own savings and a bank loan from AIB.

We will seek seed funding very soon."

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