Leon Campise and Leon Cho founded SparkCrowd a year ago after it became clear that mobile social apps would become a predominant player in the social networking market. Their product, a game called “Name Tag“, attempts to go beyond the model of Foursquare and Gowalla, which are well known for allowing check-in to a given place and seeing who else is there. Once checked-in via geo-location, the game is designed to unite people with common interests or themes — say, the game of basketball, traveling, or a favorite TV show. As you “tag” others with similar tastes, you’ll be prompted for a topic and guess how your new friend will respond to a related question, taking your conversation beyond simple small talk, and earn points and discounts to local stores in the process.
Prior to SparkCrowd, Campise had reached out to Greg Flores, co-founder and Senior VP of MP3.com for a previous business venture. After success there, Campise discussed with Cho a possible position at their company for Flores. Campise and Cho were so impressed, they contacted Flores and convinced him to come on board as Executive VP of Business Development. So far, SparkCrowd has accepted no external funding, relying only on bootstrapping at this time. Name Tag is free, and SparkCrowd is focusing on the iPhone market for now, with plans to make it available on the Android platform in the near future.
SparkCrowd has recently been accepted into the Tech Wildcatters Spring 2011 program, and is busy preparing for their start in the 12-week accelerator “bootcamp. Tech Wildcatters just recently became part of the TechStars network, helping visibility for TW and its startups. In addition to participating in Tech Wildcatters, SparkCrowd is actively seeking investment capital to grow the company and expand into different social verticals.