WILTON, Conn. — Wilton resident Kate Jansen figures a lot of her fellow college students can relate to the dilemma she sometimes has hours before a formal dance or party on campus.
“I’ve got a closet full of clothes … and nothing to wear,” the Bucknell University senior said.
That might not be so soon, as Jansen, Fairfield resident Julia Tomeo and three other teammates are creating Friendress, a fashion-minded social media app designed to help friends help friends get dressed.
The platform will allow members to create a virtual closet of clothing they own and would be willing to share. Don’t have gown for that year-end formal? Sick of using the same suit for your class presentations? Look for alternatives on Friendress.
“You’ll be able to connect with friends through Facebook,” said Tomeo, who has graduated and works at Bucknell’s School of Management this semester. “It will create a community within an area.”
The team first created the app as a potential start-up for the class “Should We Start This Company?” From there, they joined 24 teams vying for top honors in Bucknell’s annual BizPitch competition. They didn’t win the competition, but they made it to the final round.
“It was a great experience,” Jansen said.
Last week, the team learned Friendress is in the top 32 of 100 teams competing in the Student Startup Madness tournament begun by Sean Branagan, a director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The tournament parters with big name firms such as Google, Gust and TriNet.
They’ll find out next week if they make it to the top eight and a chance to present at the final round in Austin, Texas.
Tomeo, who earned a degree in market innovation and design in December, and Jansen, an English literature major, said the team will launch Friendress at Bucknell this spring and, if it catches on, to spread organically, in large part through word of mouth.
“We expect it to develop on its own,” Tomeo said.
The team estimates it will ultimately need $100,000 in startup funds to create and successfully launch Friendress.
For more information on the plan, visit their Facebook page.
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