Wouldn’t it be great if we could take the work out of networking? Even at events designed to bring people together, it’s hard to make lasting connections. Hell, the event industry and networkers have been bumping into each other forever, and even they haven’t been able to recognize one another. Until SocialTagg came along.
SocialTagg is an integrated event platform that makes it easier for people to connect. Mobile apps make it easy for attendees to register and check-in while allowing organizers to distribute surveys and collect detailed analytics for their events. Cloud-based networking apps engage guests and help create more dynamic experiences.
At the same time, QR codes that store cloud-based contact information replace business cards, making it much easier and quicker for people to exchange information – disposing with the tedious process of adding and updating (not to mention remembering) details.
Few companies see the trees and the forest at the same time because it’s so hard to do. SocialTagg pulls off the feat, keeping sight of facilitating both better networking and better events. Karim Varela, Co-founder and President, tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
SocialTagg is an integrated event platform redefining how people check into and network at events. The problem is that checking into an event is a tedious task, often fraught with waiting in line and looking up attendees. Once inside, making meaningful connections is also difficult. Our 1st product is a business card replacement app. We store contacts in the cloud and give networkers the ability to add notes about their connections.
Our 2nd product is an event check-in platform. When you attend an event and check-in, you can see all other attendees who have checked in. We also offer the event organizer the ability to survey their attendees in real time and get rich analytics about their attendee base. These two pieces work in tandem to make the entire event experience better. Attendees can use one app, one platform, to register, check-in, and network at events. Event organizers get rich analytics about who their attendees are and what kind of engagement they have at their event.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
Our networking platform centers around networking. Our competitors who make event platforms don’t help attendees engage with each other. Our competitors who make networking solutions have no event context. SocialTagg is a best-in-class networking solution that functions within the context of events.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
Our platform is a social one, and we’re building a world where everything at events are tagged, hence SocialTagg.
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I usually start at 9am and work till 1am.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
August, Burning Man.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
Play the stock market.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
Started with four at a hackathon. We now have eight.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
yolo [you only live once]
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
We’re still there. Our biggest struggles are finding time to build all the cool stuff we want to build and then convincing people to simply try it.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
I treat frustration as an opportunity to learn something. I was very frustrated when my last startup, i-booze.com was shut down by the local government with some legal issues.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
We usually work remotely, we’re spread all over LA. We work hard and play hard.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
I picture us having an office, and being an innovative, creative company, stretching the boundaries of what you can do with mobile software.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
Successful entrepreneurs inspire me. People who dream big inspire me. People who aren’t afraid to go after their dreams inspire me.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowdfunded? Where’d you get the money, man?
Self-funded. Most of us still have day jobs.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Don’t have a mortgage.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
If you’re going to start something, make sure you’re ready to finish it.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
I’d buy a condo in Costa Rica and surf every day.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If not, what’ll make you feel successful?
No. I’ll fee successful when I have a profitable business that solves an important problem and supports me and my family.
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why?
- LinkedIn – All my professional connections are here.
- Gmail – My life is archived here.
- Facebook – It’s the best way to communicate with all the important people in my life.
- Android Developer Console – Android development pays my bills.
- Mashable – The best source for tech news.
Top 5 mobile apps you’re in love with and why?
- Tinder – The best app out there for finding new people nearby.
- SocialTagg – The best app out there for making new connections.
- LinkedIn – Connects me to the business world.
- Facebook – Connects me to my friends and family.
- Gmail – My task organizer and follow up tool.
What is your music streaming player of choice, and what are you listening to right now?
Pandora – The Roots, “You Got Me”
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
Thailand, Thai food is my favorite + white sand tropical beaches
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Bill Gates – The first original software visionary
- Mark Suster – Gives great advice on funding
- Tony Horton – Will pump you up
Where else besides the website can our readers find you online?