When you’re in a new social situation, your brain can swim with thoughts that might stop you from approaching someone to say hello. This fear may prevent you from meeting people and making real connections.
For international students, this can mean never really connecting with someone during their school experience. For frequent travelers, this can mean always feeling out of a place in a new location.
Nebzy wants to dissipate these fears and break down the barriers that keep us from making new connections.
The Problem Being Solved
Nebzy wants to help people connect. Jonathan understands what it’s like to be the new kid on the block and knows how hard it is to meet people and make meaningful connections. Nebzy is the first step toward making those connections.
By allowing customers to see who is around them from their phones, they can make the choice to break the ice and reach out through a simple click.
The app will also give notifications when another user is around, allow the user to send a friend request, and let the user post thoughts and reach out to the community around them.
Where the Idea Came From
When Jonathan moved here, he realized the struggle he was having as an international student was simply trying to approach people. When he would, there was no deeper connection. He realized it wasn’t only him. He knew other people wanted to be able to communicate with the people that were around them, but just didn’t know how to take that first step.
Jonathan is excited to open doors for people. He wants to invite users to see each other and interact locally instead of just chatting online. “The app allows them to be more open to the community,” he says.
He’s also excited to introduce something that is not focused on dating, just meeting people.
Jonathan isn’t just looking to target students. There are a large number of people who travel either for business of school and are constantly the new kid in town. Jonathan wants to help those people. So, he’s looking to 17-36-year-olds that travel a lot.
Jonathan has faced challenges in getting the app launched in the most effective way. “When we launch, we want to make sure a lot of people in one area are downloading it, so users have people to interact with.” So, they are focusing on getting the word out, starting in East Lansing.
It’s been a little shocking for Jonathan to realize how hard it is to introduce a concept to people without having something to show them. “They need something in their hands before they understand it.”
So far, they’ve raised money from family and friends for development and are turning to angel or private investors for the funds to launch.
“In one year, want to have one million users,” says Jonathan. Those numbers, he says, are based on the virality of the idea and the need to connect with those around us. “We’ve always wanted to communicate with others.”
Jonathan’s advice to new entrepreneurs is to have tangible experience with your target market. “Go out and create a scenario as though you are one of your users. Nobody will believe in the idea at first except you and you need to have the tangible experience to show it will work.”