In life, people can do one of two things: create or follow. Most students will do the latter, following in the footsteps of someone who has already made millions in the hopes of doing the same. Others, however, choose to create, perhaps inspired by technology to make the world a bit more interesting.
Joseph Sorrentino (GSB ’13) is a creator. He has spent the last few months developing an iOS app for iPhones called ConnectNow, a simpler and better way to exchange personal information.
Joseph has always found the current methods outdated: printed business cards, texting people one’s number and so on. ConnectNow is designed to replace all that. Its first version will allow a user to toggle among five “tabs.” The first tab houses his or her personal profile. The second, called “Locate,” uses a map and GPS technology to show the user which of his or her previously made connections may be close by. The third tab, “Connect,” allows users to find one another and to exchange information. The fourth and fifth will list all current connections and notifications of requests from others.
ConnectNow is built for today’s social-media-infused world. Each user’s profile brings together his or her Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, e-mail, phone number and company or university, so that users can connect on social media without having to switch back and forth between apps.
Working with Joseph on ConnectNow are Syracuse University students Justin Oh, Benjamin Honig and Serge Efap, all looking to make a splash in the tech industry. In January, the four formed Connect Group LLC, through which all of the decisions for the app are made.
“While we all have our specialized roles, all of us are involved in the decision-making for even the smallest detail,” Joseph said.
Like any app-based startup, the team is aiming for thousands of downloads. This does not come without a good marketing plan. “We plan to market the app through promotions and social media,” Joseph explained, “as well as to attend tech conferences and networking events at universities where we can build relationships within the startup community.”
Through ConnectNow, Joseph and his collaborators hope to use technology to change the way people communicate and connect. When asked how he envisions the app’s impact on the future, he said that “through the advancement of technology, ConnectNow is part of a bigger movement to create a more open and connected society.”
ConnectNow will be available to download for free in the coming weeks.