Start-up of the day: Popdeem.com
This week the Irish University Entrepreneurship Forum (IUEF) is showcasing some of Ireland's young entrepreneurial talent. The student-run initiative connects business leaders with entrepreneurs in third level education in Ireland.
Throughout this week *The Daily Business Post* will interview some of the companies involved in the IUEF. Today's company is Popdeem.com, a social network reward system.
**Founders:** Declan Egan, Kevin Glynn, Gavin Hayes and Richard Whelan
**Funding:** NDRC Launchpad
**What it does:** reward system for time spent on social networking
Students are spending more and more time on social networks. With torrents of information across the web, how much of our online time is well spent?
Popdeem.com is a new social commerce network that rewards students for participating on social networks. The NDRC-based company was set up by UCD students Declan Egan, Kevin Glynn, Gavin Hayes and Richard Whelan earlier this year.
Popdeem.com is currently in beta stage development and will be launching a test site in April. The company aims to give students real value for the time they spend on their social networks in the form of discounts.
"Relative to the amount of time students spend on social networking there is no value in it," said Egan. "We thought we should encourage positive engagement rather than just browsing."
The UCD business students previously worked on StuddyBuddy, a system that allows you to temporarily block or disable timesink websites, social networks and games on a PC or laptop.
"The solution we were trying to come up with wasn't the best one," said Egan. "With smartphones and tablets we can't stop browsing on social networks. From a strategic point of view we thought it would be better to look at the problem differently."
Popdeem.com measures a users "social hype" by looking at how active a user is on social networks and how intesting a users posts are. The company poses online challenges for students posting on social networks. Likes and comments on a post are rewarded with points which can be redeemed for real student deals, such as a discount on a meal.
The commercial side of the company will be driven by targeted advertising.
"We want to be the link between student users and promotional campaigns aimed at students," said Egan.
Popdeem.com is part of the National Digital Research Centre's Launchpad programme, which involves €20,000 micro-seed invesment, deskspace and mentoring.
Originally the investment was in StudyBuddy but the company was supported by the NDRC when it decided to change the original concept. "They encourage pivots," said Egan. "It is about innovation through failure and refining an idea."
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