Exclusive: Fliksee Helps Connect Students, Plans For October 8 Launch On DePaul CampusBY: Corey Cummings | October 1, 2012
Fliksee, a new Chicago-based social networking startup for college students, is set to make its debut on the DePaul campus in early October. Instead of helping college students maintain the friendships they already have, Fliksee is looking to provide busy students with a new resource for meeting other people on campus.
“Think of Twitter for college campuses with a throwback to the old Facebook privacy settings,” said Fliksee cofounder Yaxi Yang, who described the basic function of the soon-to-launch social site as a digital bulletin board. Each campus has its own community, and every user is connected to one another right from the beginning. Users can view all posts made by other users on their campus, and make a post, or “flick,” of their own for everyone else to see.
The founders recognize that many lifelong friendships, and even relationships, are formed during the college years. Yang said that the they’re hoping the platform will ultimately be one more way of connecting with other students, a digital catalyst that will supplement the many clubs and events happening around campus. More than anything the startup is looking to the upcoming launch on the DePaul campus as an opportunity to see what students do with the new service.
“The feedback we receive from our initial launch at DePaul will help us a lot,” said Yang. “We’re prepared to make any changes and tweaks needed to create that ultimate experience for our users.” Fliksee plans to expand to other Chicago universities following the October 8th launch, Yang said, but the primary focus is to start it off in the right direction.
Yang and fellow co-founders Eric Shen, Andre Sugai, and Julia Tang finished creating the MVP after three months of development. The team has no plans for monetization yet, though Yang said that advertising will likely be an option once they learn how students use the platform. Yang promised that, no matter what method of monetization the company decides to embrace in the future, Fliksee will remain free. “We know college students are broke, and we don’t want to make them any more broke,” she said.
When not hard at work developing the campus sharing platform, the Fliksee team consistently has food on the brain. “For some reason, our meetings are always centered around food,” said Yang, who went on to detail a meeting in which one team member thought chocolate-dipped bacon would be doubly delicious. “In short, we spent five hours in a kitchen baking bacon dipped in chocolate that no one ended up eating,” she said.
For now the Chicago startup plans to maintain an entirely boostrapped operation. “We are not currently seeking funding because we have no need for it — our current model is very lean,” Yang said.
Students can already register their interest at Fliksee.com to be notified as soon as the college network comes to their campus. The rest of us can stare longingly at the login page and reminisce about the days when we too had that coveted .edu email address.