By Tine Thygesen, Co-founder and CEO of Everplaces. Everplaces helps people keep track of places they love or want to visit one day. It’s often called Pinterest for the real world.
Both my co-founder Angie and I have been in startups for some years, and we felt time was right for starting a new company. We have a few ideas in mind and were trying to validate which of them had best potential to get really big. In the end, StartupWeekend was a huge help for us in choosing.
We had both worked on other peoples ideas at previous StartupWeekends, Angie as a designer and me as commercial mind. So we decided to take one of our ideas, Everplaces, to the Startup Weekend coming up to see the response.
We spend some hours coming up with an interesting pitch (which may have included pictures of scantily clad girls in a bar:). And it worked! A full 18 people wanted to spend the weekend helping us, so the first task was how to organize that many people in a productive way. Coincidentally, that ended up being a major win, because it meant we needed managers and Chris Kaalund, a programmer from Århus we only knew superficially, became head of the front end team. He later later joined us as the third cofounder and runs the dev team today.
The first concept of Everplaces was that you could snap a picture of interesting bars, art, shops and other stuff you walk by and it should be stored on your mobile so you could find it later. It is still a part of the concept today, however now it’s much larger and you can add places from many other sources like location based services, directly websites, from friends etc. We also added the ability to follow other peoples places according to shared interests as we believe strongly in social discovery through the interest graph. So you can almost say it started like Evernote for locations and ended up as Pinterest for places.
Because we had a both a commercial team, a social media team, a front end team, a back end team and a mobile team we got really far. For example, we did a lot of the research that set the of the direction of product already in that weekend. We ended up producing a functional mobile app, a connected website, found our name and got the domain everplaces.com, the Facebook vanity URL, the twitter handle @everplaces, made promotional video and a basic website where people could sign up. So pretty amazing progress in 56 hours. We still remember everyone very fondly who was there that weekend, they were amazing every last one of them.
The weekend proved we could attract talented people to work on the concept, that there was huge business potential, that is was technically possible and when we then received the first investor call and was approached by a major tech blog already the week after, we knew we had to go with it. Today Everplaces has users in 72 countries and is growing extremely fast.