Gaston Lavén, Sweden's Inventor of the year (2011-08/2012-08) thanks to his environmentally beneficial work as an organic chemist, found himself heartbroken after a breakup and in dire need of comfort. As with many startup founders, little did he know his pain would later turn into a business:
“I separated from my ex a year ago and wanted to "hit the night" once again. The problem is that I'm not very young any longer (only in my head :)) and thus more selective. To be honest, I ended up more than once in nightclubs populated by young people in 20-24 year of age...not that fun for me”, Gaston told us and continued, “I started to look for an app that could give me a live update of where the people in my age were hanging out. When I couldn't find any such app I took matter in my own hands and decided that I really need to "make it happen". I want this and I think that I'm not the only one.”
The result of this initiative is now called Heatcord, the Swedish social heat map application that pretty much offers the tools Gaston himself would've greatly appreciated during his period of skirthunting.
Heatcord is a real time social buzz displayer. It picks up signals from app users and from social media services like Instagram to build a type of elevation map where the units are given in humans.
How it works is relatively simple: a user opens the app, browses through their local “heat map”, or in other words, scattered colour spots that tell you how many people are concentrated in specific venues or places. Just like heat, blue stands for cold, which means low activity, whereas red stands for hot, meaning the area is buzzing with people. That in mind, the app can work either as a means to find multitudes of partygoers, or alternatively avoid largely populated nightclubs, whichever floats your boat that particular evening.
In addition of letting users know the quantity of people located in certain areas, the map allows you to select any venues in the desired spot; check pictures of the place to see if it’s your cup of tea and engage in a live chat with other heatcord users who are already there. That way you could ask them directly if the party is worth giving a try.
As for the age problem Gaston was faced with, Heatcord lets users apply age and gender filters to see heatmaps for relevant demographics of people. Though I smell potential danger here due to the fact that not everyone is reasonable when it comes to preferred age, the app only shows the users’ general location, so I guess hungry women would find the young males anyway*, regardless of the app or not.
Pseudo-moral issues aside, Heatcord reminds me to a certain extent of Yossa, the Finnish nightlife application that similarly displays demographics of partygoers, but the two work with significantly different motivators: Where Yossa lures its users in with promises of financial benefits, Heatcord engages its userbase by offering them information in a recreational way. Geared with both, I imagine your night out could really turn into something else.
However fun and engaging the idea of heatcord is, I feel it will be difficult to get the full benefits of the app to truly blossom if its user base remains small. But every start up has a start; the proof-of-concept is still taking its baby steps, and depending on the popularity the app gains, it could turn into valuable app for those looking to personalize their nightlife experiences.
“At the End of Summer (September) we expect to launch a close Beta and we would love to have the Swedish Start up community to be a part of it, we know we will get a tremendous feedback from the community so we can do our official launch later this Autumn in Stockholm.”
Heatcord is looking for seed funding to oil up the gear of development. Monetization would be done by charging event organizers who wish to promote their events through the app.
Party image by Shutterstock. Below: the Heatcord team.
*it's a joke