A new smartphone app titled Cofounda aims to change the way entrepreneurs connect with each other locally and globally, inspired by the concept of co-founder speed dating events.
Cofounda is a location-based, instant messaging service for entrepreneurs, investors and people “wanting to start something”, but need someone else to help them turn their idea into a reality.
Available across the iOS and Android platforms, the app will launch in Sydney later today. Major partners include the Commonwealth Bank, Women in Focus and Servcorp.
Cofounda was founded in August 2011 by Angela Vithoulkas, Jarrod O’Connell, Daniel Filmer and Mathew Beeche.
The app is being launched on a global scale and, in several weeks, O’Connell and Filmer will travel to Silicon Valley to meet with potential investors.
The app combines geolocation technology and instant messaging to assist its members, connecting them with potential co-founders, consultants, resources and services for their start-up.
Users are able to chat in real time with those who have complementary skill sets and interests.
Cofounda chief executive Dan Filmer says finding the right co-founder for an idea or project is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face.
“The process can be a long, arduous and de-motivating task. Our goal is to change that,” Filmer says.
According to Vithoulkas, Australians registered more than 60,000 domain names every month last year, highlighting the need for a resource like Cofounda.
“This represents tens of thousands of new ideas that a platform such as Cofounda helps by connecting the right people and skill sets, turning their dreams into a reality,” Vithoulkas says.
Cofounda is designed to build on the concept of co-founder speed dating events, which continue to increase both here and overseas, including Cofounder Speed Date in Sydney.
Beeche says the app will provide an opportunity for users to amplify the number of connections made by entrepreneurs.
“Say I’m going to New York and want to connect with some tech entrepreneurs over there. I can use the event search option and start chatting to people before I even get there,” he says.
“With regard to angel investment funding, angel investors can see everything that’s going on – who’s starting up what – and can get in contact to provide capital.”
“Entrepreneurs will also be able to pitch directly to angel investors via the app. It creates greater access. To get into Pushstart or Startmate or TechStars, you need to be within a certain location.”
“This [app] allows rural start-ups around Australia, America and Europe to have an equal fighting chance of getting their ideas heard and getting some backing behind it.”