Connecting in real life with Meetisan
Meetisan is a social networking platform that connects users who have a similar interest and are only a stone's throw away.
Unlike networking platforms such as Twitter and Linked in, Meetisan is designed to enable its users to quickly set-up a face-to-face meeting.
Filling a gap in the market
The company's CEO, Hua Fan, says other social networking platforms are good at connecting people across the world, but there are many situations when it is better to meet in person in your local area.
"We identified a gap in the market. So many people engage with each other online, but when it comes to doing business or exchanging complex ideas, it makes sense to meet in person," Mr Fan says.
"If you're looking for a website designer, or someone to help with your physics homework or a basketball buddy, you'll want to meet face to face.
"Users set up a profile by clicking on the tags that show their interests. Meetisan then shows other users with corresponding tags who are within five minutes' walk."
Created at the University of NSW
The app was created by students at the University of NSW, where Mr Fan is finishing a PhD. He is guiding the evolution of the app, while others are helping write the computer code.
While universities have provided a fertile ground to launch the Meetisan app, Mr Fan sees strong potential among business users.
"If you're working in the CBD, there may be consultants in your own building who could help you with legal work or designing your marketing materials," he said.
"The app can help you quickly set up a meeting over a coffee."
Assisted by NSW Department of Industry
After receiving startup funding through UNSW, Meetisan received assistance from the NSW Government to produce the first version of the app.
It received a $15,000 grant through the government's Innovate NSW program – matched by private investment raised from Mr Fan's family members – allowing it to produce a Minimum Viable Product it could launch on the market for users and potential investors.
The government also sponsored Meetisan to attend the CeBIT technology and business expo, where Mr Fan made valuable connections with industry partners.