Our dream is to build a tech company that connects people with things they care about

Dreamer: Trevor Carlson

Business: Wa2do

Location: Cedar Falls, IA

Industry Contest: Pre-Revenue

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Our dream is to build a tech company that connects 18-26 year olds with activities so they never fear on missing out again. We believe that the best way to do this is to develop a mobile app using modern technology to connect you with what to do.
Business Description:
Wa2do’s focus is connecting people with activities nearby. The content is based on a user's specific interests in their immediate location. Our goal is to replace the bulletin board and connect people through these activities.
There isn’t a universal solution to find activities based on an individual’s specific interests. Many activities or events get buried on a cluttered Facebook feed, constantly revolving Twitter feed, or buried on a overflowing bulletin board.
Our team has the unfair advantage of being included in the target market and having the skill set to solve the problem. There have been other apps or businesses who have attempted to solve this problem but many have failed. By understanding that people have multiple interests that may change based on time and location we can become the solution through our application. We have also established a network MVP testers and likely first customers including University of Northern Iowa Wellness and Recreation Center, Sidecar Coffee Shop, Cedar Valley Alliance, University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Cedar Valley Open Coffee, The Core Comic Book Store, Waterloo Irishfest, Hancher Auditorium, Corallville Parks and Rec, City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Rec, Spicolis, Iowa City Children’s Museum, Waterloo Visitors Bureau, Cedar Falls Parks and Rec, and are in discussions with several others.
Market Opportunity
At Startup Weekend, our team interviewed a total of 125 people; 77 males and 48 females. 48% of the people we talked to were in the ages of 18-24, 26% 25-39, 18% 30-49, and 8% over the age of 50. 107 of the 125 people said that they would like to use a mobile app to find activities around them. Since then we have done 70 customer discovery interviews with event/venue promoters and 35 interviewed 35 18-26 year olds. All of these have resulted in positive feedback, suggesting the need to get more events/venues in front of 18-26 year olds.
In 2012, 7,070,345 moved to a different state. In that same year, 37,696,597 people moved to a different location within their original state. This presents an opportunity to help connect these people with activities around them. An example for the application would be the usage at exercise facilities. The United States currently has 34,000 facilities that could integrate the app. We are specifically targeting the 18-26 year old age range as our initial market. Because of the high level of change and their integration with technology in this market it creates a great opportunity for adoption.
Along with venues, our product distribution will focus on Facebook, Twitter, and the app stores. These platforms will be used to help promote our application through word of mouth and using SEO/ASO to drive downloads. After reaching this initial market, we will retain users by being the solution for finding or creating an activity at venues around them.
We’re currently going through are second round of customer discovery following the Startup Owner’s Manual guide to building a great company. We’re focusing on finishing 100 customer discovery interviews with event/venue promoters and 100 interviews with 18-26 year olds. After finishing this round of interviews, we will take the information gained and develop a low-fidelity MVP. After the low-fidelity MVP is finished, we will take it out to our MVP testers to get their feedback. After going through the tests, we will take what we learned and develop a high-fidelity MVP. We will take the high-fidelity MVP through the same tests that we took the low-fidelity MVP through to make sure we are on the right track. After testing the high-fidelity MVP, we will analyze the product-market fit to see if we have the best product for solving our markets needs. If we do, then we proceed into development of our V1.0 and release the app to the public.
Currently, our largest competitor is Meetup.com. We are different from Meetup.com because we offer a free version of our service and have a spontaneous, streamlined feature connecting people faster. To organize an event with people who have similar interests on Meetup.com would require starting a group costing $20+ a month. Our other competitor is the old fashioned bulletin board. Everywhere you go today there are bulletin boards with activities and people promoting an event. Our goal is to replace that with new technology and a guarantee that people interested will see your event.
Reason for Entering:
The reason that we are applying is that it is a long process to acquire users and takes multiple team members to work through the agile development process. Winning the Dream Big, Grow Here grant would allow us to decrease the development time while covering some of our overhead costs as we confirm our multiple hypothesis. Our team believes that people want a single resource to find things to do and so far the data supports this. We need to be able to fund the agile development process until we can acquire a user base that allows us to cashflow the business.