Student Spotlight: Didac Hormiga & “Flee”
Didac Hormiga is a junior in the QUEST Program (Q28), and he’s been working on his startup “Flee” for the past year! The work he’s done has allowed him to connect people in his community and push the event finding platform to the next level. Click below to learn more about his experience, and follow these links to download the app!
What is Flee, and what value do you believe you provide your users?
Flee stands for “Find Local Events and Entertainment,” and we do just that. I started working on it during my sophomore year because I felt like I didn’t know what events were going on. It seemed like I was finding out about a lot of things after they had happened so regarding our value, I believe we’re expediting the event finding process and making it more social. We aim to help people find out where their friends are, where their friends are going, and determine the atmosphere before they arrive.
What’s contained in the latest update of Flee?
The big update adds a lot of different things to the experience. The main aspect of the update is the addition of a “Connect with Facebook” button that will allow users to connect their Flee accounts with Facebook and see which friends are on the app. When we first launched the app, we found that a lot of people couldn’t find their friends on the app. We had a native log-in so people had to search for friends by username which made the process a lot more difficult. This button should make the process easier and improve connections within the app.
We’ve also improved things on the back end and made changes to allow the app to run faster and smoother. The database and security have also been improved along with additions to the social experience. We added likes and comments on events and stories to allow people to interact with stories to improve the way users interact with each other on the app.
What were the things that went through your mind when making the decision to connect your app with Facebook?
There were a lot of strategic factors that went into the decision-making process. Choosing Facebook could lead to a lot of complications in our app, but after thinking about the future of our app, we determined it was worth the risk.
One big issue we foresaw was that our users would assume all Facebook events were present on Flee. Another issue was centered around the technical aspects of our product. By using Facebook’s API, we’ve connected ourselves to the company so if they make a change that could potentially hurt our app.
Initially, we tried to avoid the Facebook connection, but after hearing feedback from our users regarding the difficulties finding friends, we thought it made sense for us to work with Facebook and give our users the ability to gain more from the app and better connect with each other.
Where do you see the app moving forward?
The goal for Flee has always been to connect people to their communities. Regarding our next steps, it’s all going to be in the realm of facilitating the event finding process and improving the connections within communities.
What’s the biggest mistake you think you’ve made in the creation of Flee?
It’s been a long journey filled with many ups and downs, but I would say one of the bigger downs was when I connected my personal debit card to AWS instead of my business credit card. This resulted in a $10,000-dollar charge being placed on my personal card which was a hassle to get straightened out. Something I’ve learned is that anytime you’re signing a contract, or doing anything with your product, you must be detail oriented and make sure that you properly understand the terms of any agreement and its implications.
What’s been the greatest success you’ve seen so far? What’s the greatest success you hope to see?
The greatest success has been seeing my friends find events on Flee that they weren’t aware of, inviting their friends, and going to these events. It’s been a long journey to get to this point so it’s rewarding to see that type of support from my community.
In the future, I’d like to see growth and aim to impact more people around the country and around the globe. Right now, we’re pretty event focused, but I feel that in the future we’ll be able to broaden that focus and help people be more connected with their communities in all aspects of life.