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Pop your bubble and meet new friends!

The Problem:

Every year, more than two million young adults leave the comforts of their homes to spend the majority of the next four years at a college campus. College is a place where innovation thrives, where new lifelong friends are discovered, and self discovery flourishes. However, oftentimes many people find themselves alone in a crowd of people. There’s hundreds of student organizations, but they don’t know where to start. Maybe they want to create a new organization, but don’t know any like minded individuals.

According to the American College Health Association’s 2018 Survey of nearly 88,000 students, 63% of university students said they felt “very lonely” in the last 12 months, while only 19.7% students “never felt lonely”. To see how applicable these statistics were to the UT community, we conducted interviews with UT students. In our interviews, students acknowledged that they experienced feelings of loneliness when they saw other students socializing (perceived loneliness). This is because they did not have a support group or a community when they came to a new place like UT.


The Solution

POP will help them burst their existing social bubbles and create new ones. We are a mobile software company with the mission of providing a platform where people are able to create long-lasting and meaningful connections by breaking down the barriers of social isolation that afflict so many of today's youth.  

We facilitate real life meet-ups based on shared time availability, interest, and personality traits to help people meet and create true connections. Consequently, students will increase the amount of time they socialize with real people without having to change their schedules. We are the easiest way to make new friends.


Market Analysis

We are a Software as a Service (SaaS) that intends to sell POP on a subscription basis to different universities to better facilitate a healthier student life on campus.  

Our market size of $1 billion can be described as thus: There are 4200 colleges in the US, with 2700 of them being a 4 year university. We intend to charge a progressive contract rate to institutions by segmenting each university by population. 

  • With a university with a student body less than 20,000, we will charge them $10,000 a month on an annual contract basis.
  • When an institution has in between 20,000 and 40,000 students, their rate will be $30,000 a month on an annual contract.
  • With institutions with populations larger than 40,000 students, the rate will be $50,000 a month, annual contract.

Using colleges with 20k-40k students as a mean, we can calculate ($30k a month) x (12 months) x (2700universities), we get almost $1 billion in market size. However, that’s only by including universities. We intend to extend our reach to corporations and other educational institutions as well. 

According to the National Center for Education statistics, undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase 3% from 16.8 million students to 17.2 million by 2028. 

As we grow, we expect server costs for institutions to be cost roughly $.03 a student per month. Therefore we can roughly estimate that each student will cost $1/month based on the $30k plan and assuming that there’s roughly an average of 30,000 students at each institution. Using that calculation, our profit margins will be around 97% per school based on server costs alone. 

However, we must also factor in a 10% commission from our sales reps, along with associated marketing costs that we will assume will cost 20% of each school contract we acquire. That means our profit margin will be brought down to 67%. 


Our Competitors

Our primary competitors are Bumble BFF and Friendr. These are all apps or features that focus on making friends. However, Bumble BFF is basically Bumble Date except with an understanding from users that nobody is looking for anything romantic. Friendr has yet to be released but seems to be focused on matching people based on interests, hobbies, and values.

 Future competitors can include anything the Match Group, which owns Tinder, okcupid, and, decides to create. However, based on current trends, any competition from dating apps are simply going to be new features loaded onto pre-existing apps rather than building one from the ground up. 


POP’s Competitive Advantage

When it comes to POP, we don’t want to be an app everyone from the public can access. One of our competitive advantages lies in the security we offer. To use POP, you must have a “.edu” email associated with the university you go to and be on its student directory. That way you will only be matched with other students who go to the same institution.

Additionally, another competitive advantage we have is our focus on intrinsic, rather than extrinsic features. This is why we don’t have any visual identifications such as profile pictures and match entirely  based on internal factors such as personality traits, and interests.


About Us

  • Yoonsup Lee: 
    • My name is Yoon Lee, CEO and founder of POP. I am senior MIS major student currently attending UT austin. I am passionate about pop because I have witnessed my friends struggle with loneliness and isolation problem.
  • Rick Kim:
    • I'm responsible for operations and software development at POP. I am a senior Computational Engineering major, and my passion for POP originates from a strong desire to create a connected environment by creating a powerful tool to help new members of a community to find their special place within it.
  • Seokhyun Baek:
    • I’m the marketing lead at POP. I am a junior Marketing major, and my duties involve crafting marketing strategy and a boots on the ground initiative so POP is able to establish itself and rapidly expand at our locations in terms of user acquisition and brand recognition. I’ve seen many people I know go through the struggle of simply not knowing where to begin making friends, and I work on POP to create a solution for those people.
  • David Pham:
    • I currently lead software engineering and product development at POP. I am a junior Computer Science major, and I am responsible for building a world-class mobile app, website, and backend that cultivates an environment for our users to develop lifelong friends and connections on our platform. My passion comes from challenging the social status quo and changing it with technologies in ways we’ve never seen previously possible.
  • Mauricio Canales:  
    • I'm a back-end developer for POP. I am a senior Computational Engineering major, and what motivates me to work at POP is that we are redefining what a social app can be and using it to create a better future. My expertise lies in Computational Engineer at UT Austin, Javascript, and NoSQL databases like Mongodb.  In my spare time I enjoy riding my bike around Austin and playing the guitar.
  • Andy Pham
    • My full time job is a software engineer at Global Payments. I'm a recent graduate of UT. I work as an engineer for POP and am responsible for overall system design. My passion to work on this comes stems from wanting to connect people together and solve the problem of loneliness. Something I've found difficult after moving to a new city and knowing nobody.

Sep 29, 2019

Oct 7, 2019
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