How does big data shape the world we live in? Which domains does it affect? How can machine learning improve our social life? In our interview, CROWD’s CEO & co-founder Simon Heinzle discusses a new way how to plan social events with friends and bringing everything around social time management together in one app.
Simon, who are you?
I’m Simon, a father of a two-year old boy and a computer scientist. Before I co-founded CROWD, I did my PhD at ETH in computer science and subsequently worked in the field of video computer graphics for the Disney Research Institute.
What does CROWD exactly do?
With CROWD we have built a social time planning application that helps you organize your leisure time on your mobile phone smartly, without having to switch between messenger, google maps, party listings, activity listings or your calendar. With CROWD, everything is available within the reach of a finger tip, all in one app, all very easy to use, in order for you to coordinate your friends easier.
Simon, how do you choose where to go out on a Friday evening?
(Laughs) My main hobby these days is taking care of my little toddler, so I’m not going out as much as I used to, but I still manage once a month. Then I usually choose to go to my favorite electronic music clubs, such as Hive, Zukunft or Café Gold. I use the CROWD app to check which DJ’s will be playing there. The advantage of doing this is that the CROWD app remembers what I look at, and then it starts recommending events that are relevant to me. So when I open the app again it shows me all electronic music events that are going on in Zurich.
After founding your own Spin-off company, what advice would give to a group of people who would want to found a start-up?
Save money on legal fees when incorporating: Use online templates and the notary, instead of a legal advisor. That would be my first piece of advice. My second advice is more general: Don’t give up. The process from the first idea to the first prototype of the app, up until we finally found an investor took forever. In essence, just be patient and even though you’re sometimes completely demotivated or almost burnt out by the frustration that everything works so slowly, just don’t give up and keep at it. It will come.
Would you like to say anything directly to the Swiss Startup Community ?
We just (pre-)launched CROWD and it would be amazing if all of you would try it out and give us feedback on how we could improve it!