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NIT Jalandhar alumni launch a customized recommendation app SomethingAwesome.in for local events

Jai Vardhan
posted on 10th October 2014
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There are hundreds of social events happening in our localities every day mostly organized by small volunteer clubs, like startup meetups, fun marathons, parties, and ComiCons, but most often we never get to know about them. Here comes SomethingAwesome.in which brings all such events under one app.

SomethingAwesome

Founded by Mohan Gupta and Harpal Singh, SomethingAwesome (SA) is a local events recommendation app. It deduces the likes and interests of a user and then suggests relevant events.

Evolution of the idea

Whenever Mohan Gupta saw coverage of some fun events in the newspapers, he would wonder why he did not know about them in advance.  “When I talked about this with my other friends they too thought the same.  This January, I talked to my college buddy, Harpal, about doing something around this,” says Mohan.

The two friends had also worked together earlier when they ran another startup, Confaber.com. Mohan previously worked at Microsoft, Amazon & Cisco, and Harpal at Samsung and MediaTek. They met during their under-graduation days at NIT, Jalandhar.

Initial challenges and USPs

The initial challenge for SA was to get a listing of all these events. The duo realized others like BookmyShow, TimesCity etc were getting these manually, and being hard core computer geeks they were adamant to get this done automatically. “We started crawling Facebook for events and later also on meetup.com. Soon we realized that there are hundreds of events every weekend and one is not interested to see everything and thus began the long journey to personalize the event recommendation via machine learning,” adds Mohan.

The duo spread the news about SA among their friends to see the response. The feedback they got indicated that they needed to streamline the number of suggestions. Once they tweaked their machine learning algos, the suggestions become much better. “We ran a few targeted Facebook ads to get an initial set of users and after a while almost all the traffic came from word of mouth and Facebook shares. Nowadays, we get about a couple of thousand users a day,” reveals Harpal.

SA brings events hosted on platforms like Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite etc. under one roof and can provide a quick snapshot of what the events calendar for the next few days in your locality looks like.

SA is machine-learning powered platform and will cut to the chase and show you only those events which you might find interesting. It’s socially integrated and the events and venues your friends prefer are given higher preference.

Revenue model and road ahead

At present, the startup doesn’t generate any revenues but going forward, the duo brainstormed a few revenue streams mostly centered around event promotions and ticketing. As far as scale is concerned, the duo is trying to scale SA horizontally by covering almost all locations across India, but they soon realized it is better to focus on a few select locations and grow deep in those.

“We are solely focused on capturing the audience in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Once we get good traction in these two cities, almost everything on the platform is generic and can be readily used in any other location,” points out Mohan.

“The SA website was meant to be a proof of concept, to see, can we provide a good recommendation system,” adds Harpal. The company now plans to come out with a mobile app (starting with Android and iOS) with much better UX.

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