CrowdScanner comes a long way in five months

26 Oct 2011

Five months after receiving the Competitive Start Fund (CSF) from Enterprise Ireland, Galway start-up CrowdScanner’s gaming software is being used in one of the largest consultancy firms in the world.

Co-founders Adrian Avendano and Ellen Dudley, a developer and biomedical engineer, respectively, launched their first start-up, meetforeal, in February 2009.

They built a social network and organised more than 26 events in Galway and Dublin. By the time they had finished, there were plenty of events, but a problem persisted – there were no tools to make it easier and more fun for people to connect with new people, face to face.

They decided to focus their attention on tools that make every social gathering more social, instead of creating a social gathering from scratch. 

Inspired by SocioPatterns

At a Science Gallery exhibition, ‘Infectious’, they were inspired by an RFID game and, at the end of 2009, travelled to Italy to meet the creators, SocioPatterns.

“We realised that games were one of the ways they could get people to interact better. On a subsequent visit to Berlin, we were highly influenced by the hacker movement and became very active in the creation of the Galway hackerspace, 091Labs,” Dudley said. 

In 2010, they developed their first iPhone application for starting conversations with strangers, and made connections around the world, at finals in competitions at TechHub, London, and at eComm, San Francisco.

“Although the application never reached more than 2,000 users, we learned how new people build trust, create connections, and the importance of diverse, healthy, human networks,” Dudley noted. 

First game on CrowdScanner platform

In April of 2011, they deployed their first game, PeopleHunt, built on the CrowdScanner platform, at the MindField Festival, in Dublin.

Raising money through the CSF in April 2011 was a major milestone, according to Dudley. “We decided to open an office in New York to have access to event planners and technology-driven events so they could rapidly test and iterate. 

“In just five months, we have improved the product, created key partnerships and have deployed it at multiple events. Just two years after being inspired by SocioPatterns, we are finally building games that get people interacting in fun ways, solving a problem in one of the largest consultancy firms in the world.

“The future involves continued deployment of PeopleHunt, alongside building out the platform to enable the development of custom games for gatherings of people in places.”

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