Floated by a 23-year-old Dhrupad Karwa, HaikuJAM brings three people together to create poetic expressions. With words and photos, users can jam with friends or strangers around the world, and earn karma points for doing good in the community.
The app aspires to give experience like any other social apps, it enables users to connect with strangers across the globe, creating friend groups and bonding over a shared interest in poetry.
Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Haiku, the app initially focused on three line poems with users contributing a line each. Now with the launch of HaikuJAM 2.0, it has evolved to other mediums, such as photo, with sound and video in the works.
Users collaborate to create simple, three-line poems inspired by Japanese Haiku poems or a series of three photos that tell a story.
To get started all you have to do is tap the "Jam" button then decide whether you want to collaborate with the world, or with your friends’ group. If you join the app via Facebook, you can invite your Facebook friends, otherwise you have to make group of users already within the app. Going forward, you can jam through your own photo story or poem, or collaborate with others.
“The human experience is collaborative by design. It cannot be told by just one human. This idea inspired us to create HaikuJAM- a space for people to share stories together from the extraordinary to the mundane,” says Dhrupad Karwa, CEO, HaikuJAM, who Co-founded the startup with two fellow economists at University College London (UCL).
In open beta for the past year, over 50,000 lines have been published through HaikuJAM with themes ranging from “Not Quite Dumped!” to “Psychoanalysing Myself” to “Je Suis Charlie”. “Work can be intense and HaikuJAM’s my creative outlet,” says Arash Khosravi, Banking Analyst in the City of London, “I don’t quite know what it is, but there’s something about the experience that’s really therapeutic,” he adds. HaikuJAM has switched from Beta to full launch mode last week.
HaikuJAM has secured over $150,000 in seed funding from the lead investors in JustGiving, Oxygen Enterprise Partners and University College London. Last year, they partnered with Zee JLF, the world’s largest literature festival in India, and they are currently working with the NHS to explore the impact of collaborative art on mental health.
Moving forward, with the support of a director at Google and a former strategic head of Coca-Cola, the team will be raising funds in San Francisco to focus on the development and application of their collaborative creative platform.