Maeve Millwood, ideaXme Fashion Ambassador interviews Karolina Demianczuk, founder of Spontime. Explored: The different ways in which human beings form connections. Here, Maeve discovers a mobile app which enables people to connect spontaneously to do a specific thing – for example to have coffee with a friend who just happens to be around the corner!
Maeve Millwood comments: Karolina Demianczuk, founder of Spontime, cuts an incredibly impressive figure for someone so young. Not yet 25, she has created an app spawned from the boredom and isolation that often comes with travelling alone.
As someone who is now having a massive impact through her app Karolina reflects that the people who have had the biggest impact on her life have been her family. In terms of strangers though, she pinpoints Karen Mayer, inventor of the airport body scanner.
“I met her in San Francisco where she was a mentor at a start-up lab…I was like okay she’s a woman who many years ago created this invention, and she told me it was very difficult to do something like that twenty years ago as a woman. It was very inspiring for me.”
Karolina was then able to pay it forward when she herself sat on a similar panel at a Polish conference.
“I talked about my experiences, my insights, my journey as a founder.”
Karolina’s words lead to an attendee leaving her projected nine-to-five corporate path behind and pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, creating her very own start-up. Karolina has therefore become a female trailblazer just as Karen Mayer was before her.
The first seed that lead to the creation of Spontime was born entirely out of boredom and coffee.
“I was always travelling a lot, often alone, and I realised there were only dating apps or event apps. Event apps are very impersonal, group-focused and formal, but if you just want to meet someone one-on-one everything is dating…I found it was difficult for me to find someone just to get coffee with”.
“When I got the idea, I was in D.C. doing an internship and I didn’t know anyone. Other employees were very much older than me. Then I realised, I’m in the city centre of Washington D.C. and I feel bored, and I’m sure there’s at least a hundred other people here feeling bored as well.”
Karolina highlighted a niche gap in the app-world market when she realised there was no platform that could connect these bored people together. Describing the app as a kind of friendship tinder you can swipe left if you don’t think a person looks like your cup of tea. Alternatively, a search function allows you to type whatever you want, and the app will connect you with people looking to enjoy like-minded activities, whether that be grabbing a drink or enjoying a game of chess in the park.
With the clue in the name the app focuses largely on spontaneity. Karolina points out this is for efficiency’s sake in terms of cutting out the dilly-dallying that can often lead to cancelled or delayed plans – getting you some face-time with your future pal as quickly as possible.
“Sometimes the spontaneous decisions are the best.”
Spontaneity is certainly a great quality to encourage and amplify in humans.
As Fashion Ambassador I had to sneak a few field-related questions in there. Karolina sees California, her base, as ahead of the curve in Sustainable Fashion and consistently finds trends in fashion and lifestyle reaching her west coast home ahead of the rest of the country.
In terms of her personal fashion, as a remote worker spending much of her time in co-working spaces, Karolina dresses for comfort above all else. However, when attending investor meetings, she will always dress to impress, something she is aware her male counterparts in the start-up world often don’t bother to do and feel less required to do.
As a woman heading up a burgeoning app empire, she does feel her fashion choices are more highly critiqued than a man’s.
“This shouldn’t be the case, we should all be treated the same.”
Should being the operative word.
For now, Karolina continues to grow and expand her business most of the time in the comfort of yoga pants.
Interview Credits: Maeve Millwood ideaXme Fashion Ambassador.
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