startups and social media

The world of social media is constantly evolving, and with the innovation from serial entrepreneurs, the way we interact with social media is being pushed even further.

Here are five startups that aim to disrupt the status quo.

From Paul Geller, Founder of Dear Inbox:

The Dear Inbox plugin is a revolutionary add-on to Gmail accounts that allows users to preserve the charm of sending handwritten cards while incorporating the efficiency of digital communication.

The innovative app, with its state-of-the-art technology that accurately simulates real handwriting, is the world’s first browser extension that allows users to fully personalize paper greeting cards through an email service.

Through the user-friendly platform, users can log into their Gmail accounts and click on the Dear Inbox compose button to start the creative process. They can then choose from hundreds of different greeting cards to suit all styles and occasions — including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, thank you cards, and all the year’s special holidays.

“With Dear Inbox we really wanted to preserve the element of emotion that people get when they send and receive handwritten notes, while complementing it with modern digital technology,“ says Dear Inbox Founder and serial entrepreneur Paul Geller (Delivery.com, Thankster.com). “Dear Inbox looks to perpetuate the art of handwritten correspondence that has inevitably been affected through use of email,” he adds.

From Samuel Huber, Founder of Betify:

Founded by a former Formula 1 strategy engineer and developed by an expert 18-person team, Betify is the first mobile app that lets users interact with self-devised challenges and wagers.

Betify allows individuals to send personalized challenges to friends or open them up to a whole global community with tags. Rack up credits to unlock rewards or come up with creative wagers that are hilarious, gross, or whatever makes the challenge as fun and exciting as possible.

Betify is not gambling,” says founder Samuel Huber, who explained that the legal complications would have been too difficult to accommodate money-based bets. “There’s no money involved. When you get right down to it, Betify is beyond gambling, more essential. It’s the thrill of being challenged, and having something at stake, removed from the very real risk of losing. It’s a way of life, imbued with that sense of urgency and purpose that comes from putting yourself out there and being pushed beyond your comfort zone.”

From Nicolas St-Arnaud, Founder of Turfly:

Turfly is a fun, innovative mobile app that looks to transform exercise into an exciting game between friends and a growing international network of competitors. Gain points and territory in the course of your daily routine, and plan exercise routes to “capture turf” from people in your area.

Turfly divides your surroundings into a regular grid and counts your movement automatically with a fully optimized battery saver mechanism that lets you rack up points, even from your pocket or purse.  Collect points by walking or running through a given turf and stake your claim. Compete against friends, family, and the world to hold it.  Notably, Turfly doesn’t share information or sell it to anyone.

“Turfly takes concepts from behavioral economics and gamification theory and applies them to daily activity,” says CEO and Co-Founder Nicolas Saint-Arnaud, who received his masters in science from MIT, before earning an MBA at INSEAD and going on to work as an analytics specialist at Facebook, Dolby, and Castlight. “The idea is to look at daily life and try to add a new, social, territorial dimension to regular activities, in a way that engages people, eventually leading to better habits.”

From Pascal Nizri, Founder of Chekk:

Created by veteran HSBC strategy, business and technology senior executive, Pascal Nizri, Chekk is aiming to reshape the way we organize, store, and manage our digital information, re-imagining how we interact with our diverse range of mail, social and news networks.

The app allows users to aggregate and share on Chekk, or their favorite social networks, through its platform. Additionally, users can consult news, message individuals or private businesses, and even share any of the above with people not yet using Chekk via email.

“What the Chekk App allows users to do is take control of their digital lives. The app goes beyond being just an email and message aggregator tool, or a social media and news centralization platform — it allows the secure storage and sharing of a user’s personal and professional information, all in a visual and engaging way” says Chekk founder and CEO Pascal Nizri.

From John Kagit, Founder of SocialEyes:

The SocialEyes platform redesigns the realm of mobile-enabled social connectivity by expanding and enhancing the world of instantaneous sharing experiences. With the Socialeyes app, users can share their real-time moods, plans, pictures, and specifically their location with his or her contacts. The location and activity-based app seeks to bring users together through their present and future plans, adding a new dimension to their social networking experiences.

Users can choose to be notified when a friend is nearby, if they are feeling in a good or bad mood, and if they are up for a coffee or to party. With the location-driven experience of the platform, users will never again be left alone on the corner outside their office — possibly after a work meeting — wondering what to do with the rest of the day, because their friend nearby is feeling like an afternoon in the park.

“Unlike traditional social media that looks at where you have been, the things you have eaten and general past experiences, Socialeyes focuses on connectivity in the present and the future moments, allowing users to be natural and to make spontaneous plans,” says founder and CEO of Socialeyes John Kagit. “The platform gives you that real-time sense of knowing how your friends are doing and where they are, and if they are up for having a drink right now or if they are looking to go for a run with someone,” he adds.

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