Entrepreneur Spotlight: JumpIn!
We've all been there. You either start your first year at a brand new school not knowing a soul, or maybe you moved to a brand new city with only a handful of friends. Maybe you have an established friend group, but are looking to broaden your horizons? As life changes and takes us in all different directions, we often don't know where we will end up or what the next step may be. The best thing that can get us through, or add to our already vibrant social life, is by connecting with others.
In today's world, online dating has exploded and become the norm. Whether it's Hint, Hinge, Tinder or others, we all use these apps to discover new romantic interests that we otherwise may never have met. Why isn't there a solution for those who want to broaden their social circle or discover new activities? Now that dating apps have blazed the trail in terms of connecting with others, entrepreneurs Salah Abdo and James Valladares saw a gap in the market and have launched a new platform called JumpIn!.
We interviewed Salah and James and were impressed with what they have come up with. With the world continually becoming digitized and human interaction slowly fading out, Salah and James have created a solution that works off of this trend and brings people together in the real world for fun activities. Salah and James see the importance in keeping face-to-face interactions alive.
Find out more about Salah and James when we interviewed them below!
Tell us about your product
JumpIn! is a location based iPhone app that lets you create and browse activities happening in your area for the week. If you find an activity you like? Press Jump In! and send a request to join. All accepted members will be entered into a private group chat with all the other members who are going.
When creating an activity, you can share it with the Entire Community or only your " Buddies", who are friends that you add through the app.
What was your background prior to founding JumpIn!?
Prior to launching JumpIn!, James played professional basketball in several Latin American countries. Salah played professional basketball in the Middle East.
What was the tipping point that led you to entrepreneurship?
It was very difficult to find and connect with people who shared similar interests in activities in the area we lived in. We wanted to make this process simple, and aligned with the habits of this generation.
What roadblocks did you overcome to reach the point that you are at today?
Neither James nor myself had a technical background. We had to do a thorough job of researching numerous API's to see what kind of apps, features etc., were possible to build an app with. We had to learn to design websites and prototypes. It was also important to get feedback from numerous people as well, ranging from friends to strangers, to make sure it was a product people could envision themselves using.
How would you define success in terms of entrepreneurship?
Success for us means that our startup and product has impacted the world in a positive way.
What are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future? We plan to continue to promote and listen to our users' feedback to provide the best overall experience on JumpIn!.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
The advice we have for new entrepreneurs is as follows:
- Surround yourself with a team that believes in your mission and is as passionate about it as you are
- You'll have days where you want to retract and walk away from your business. When this occurs, because it will, remember why you began in the first place.