I met these two dynamic ladies at Chicago Tech Week and I am glad I did. They were the winners of 43North which is the largest start-up competition in the world. They won $250,000 to spend a year in Buffalo, New York starting up their business. These dynamic women are forging new territory as minorities and women. They are showing the world that young black females can develop products that compete in the tech world that looks nothing like them.
From their website:
KeepUp is a mobile first, productivity app that lets you take back your life from social media, without missing
out on the important moments. KeepUp tracks 12 major life events from the top social media sites and puts
you in control of who you follow, what events you see and when you get updated. By searching your friends’
conversations and pulling out trending announcements,
KeepUps founding team includes
(CEO) Angel Davis
(CMO) In 2014, the start-up won $250,000 in the world’s largest business idea competition, 43North, where KeepUp
beat nearly 7,000 other innovators and was recognized by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Randall Lane. Worthy of press in their
own right, Angel and Lauren, Stanford University and Northwestern University alums, respectively, are two 30
something millennials breaking through the glass barriers in tech, along with startup veteran
and full-stack engineer Andrew,by providing a solution that will truly make social media social again.
Download in the iTunes App Store:
Please support their product and learn more about the advice that Angel has for young aspiring entrepreneurs.
1. How did you meet your co-founder
Lauren and I met almost 10 years ago in NYC through mutual friends. We were both working in the marketing/media space and had offices close to each other in Midtown. Years later, after both attending business school, we commiserated on the overwhelming nature of social media and decided to start working on this idea. Applying to and winning 43North allowed us to both focus on it full-time.
2. What inspired you to start your business
Our own struggles with social media! We both have social media accounts that we have fond memories of using over the years, but felt it had become an increasing burden as real life got busy. Everyday, not only does the number of popular social networks you “should” be on grow, but the number of connections you have on these networks increases. And more and more, we as individuals and as a collective rely on these networks to communicate key milestones in our lives. With all of the information made available to us, we felt there had to be a way to manage and filter the most important information. And that’s where KeepUp comes in.
3. How has your journey been so far?
The journey has been exciting and educational. It’s exciting to develop an idea and then have it go public. To know people are downloading and interacting with KeepUp has been a phenomenal experience. Even more exciting is the feedback from those who have indicated that they could really use a solution like KeepUp. Knowing that we are developing something life-changing is motivational. However, we’ve certainly had both successes and setbacks/delays. With those setbacks comes learning opportunities and insight into how to perform better.
4. What advice do you have for young women who want to start tech companies?
The best advice we’d give for someone who wants to start any company is to make implementation your priority. Many people have ideas but very few actually act on those ideas. Implementation includes setting practical goals for yourself and even talking about your idea as much as possible to get proper feedback. Having the goals will keep you honest and accountable as you make progress and talking about your idea will help perfect your pitch (do people understand what you’re working on?), provide you with ad hoc market research (do people want what you’re working on?) and serve as a great brainstorming tool (are there other things I didn’t think about that I should be working on?).
Thank you for that advice and keep inspiring young women across the country! We are rooting for you!