European Innovation Academy
In 2019, I attended the European Innovation Academy in Turin, Italy. This month long program was an extreme deep dive into Scratch to Startup. During my time here, I joined a team of 5 people to create a solution for online dating. The team included myself, Chloe Ward CEO, Madi White CBO, Martin CTO, and Jessie Tilly CDO. During the program, we created a working app and amazing IP. Our mission was to create an online platform to revolutionize meeting new people through the use of personality tests, fun profile creation, and gamification. We developed machine learning to predict the best matches for our clients. We gamified the profile creation process to make it engaging, vetted date locations to ensure a safe experience and our chatbot eliminates awkward conversational issues by providing icebreakers, time pressures to respond and many more. SWIVL asks concise and goofy personality related questions to form a user’s profile, to avoid the much dreaded profile creation process. Our app, SWIVL, was meant to pivot away from other dating sites and provide a unique dating experience.
My specific role was the Chief Marketing Officer, however most of my position crossed over with the Chief Design Officer. My role in SWIVL was to organize the ideation and create the design the team's vision. As an expert in innovation, I lead multiple ideation sessions that organized our How Might We statement and started framing the solutions. After pivoting many times, we realized a common pain pint in most millennials is online dating. Due to the amount of times we pivoted, I looked up synonyms for the word pivot and SWIVL was born. I designed a website to promote our ideas and an email campaign. We also went out into the streets of Italy to conduct customer surveys and validate all of our assumptions. After a week of customer discovery, we focused the next week on marketing and sales. I designed a video ad to advertise online through social media platforms. Through this video, we received over 500 emails looking for more information. In our last 2 weeks, we began to develop the app. My teammates worked on the coding aspect of the app, while I created the layout and design through Adobe XD. The concept was to gamify the overall experience. I designed innovative games to connect people and a SWIVL chat bot to connect the couple and help make communication easier.
We were awarded a $15K Scholarship for our unique IP brand and marketing strategy.
On the final day, 300 teams went to pitch their ideas to an individual investor. 35 teams moved forward to pitch to a team of investors. From there, 10 teams were selected to receive unique awards. Our team was awarded the IP Sparks Award, a $15,000 award provided by Nixon Peabody. Thanks to Nixon Peabody, I have been able to trademark a business idea that I have wanted to create for a very long time. At this time, we decided to not move forward with the project, and have moved in different paths.