The inception of Electric Courage began with a thrilling moment; in fact, it’s one that some (many) of us would be familiar with:
“The idea stemmed from one of the conversations we were having as a group. My teammate was telling us about a conference he was attending the week prior and how he locked eyes with a girl from across the room. He was dead sure that she also thought they had a moment but, by the time he had decided to go back and introduce himself, she was nowhere to be found. A few hours passed and he was on a flight back home. We realized that we'd all had moments like that in our lives and thought: why not see if we can figure out a way to solve this? Electric Courage was born,” explained Duncan Bays, a co-founder of Electric Courage.
Bays met his co-founders Holly Smith, JP Leroux, and Shahed Al-Haque at last year’s Next 36competition.
This project found itself evolving beyond a tool to flirt with. Electric Courage seeks not only to connect people, but to be a definitive tool that makes the difference between an average event and a legendary night out. It does this by aggregating event announcements, including a twitter feed, into each location’s virtual wall. Users also receive relevant updates to their smartphones based on their favourite locations.
Bays elaborated: “While being aware of upcoming events weeks is important, from our market research we know that the majority of venue decisions for a night out are made no more than a few hours earlier. The Electric Courage heat map shows you where the hottest bars of the night are, both in real time and as an historical summary of previous nights and weeks. You can then select a location to see the what others are saying on the virtual wall, see drink specials, and view any venue-specific deals and check-in incentives.”
Once the night is planned, and you and your entourage show up at the venue, Electric Courage helps you build connections. This app will allow you to see your Facebook friends and people up to two degrees of separation. It will also give you the ability to post on a location’s virtual wall (like Like a Little on steroids) to holler at the person you may have not had a chance to approach, or private message anyone that you’ve made a connection with earlier.
Electric Courage generates revenue through highly-targeted advertising. “We learned that alcohol companies place a very high value on being able to communicate their brand to a consumer at the moment before a purchase decision is made at a venue. Better still, our application’s target demographic aligns exactly with the most significant customer base of beverage and alcohol companies,” Bays said. Electric Courage could also potentially serve as a commerce system where you can just order drinks from the app instead of waiting at the bar or for staff to take your order.
Currently, Electric Courage is seeking funding and is in its basic stages for Android and BlackBerry. There’s also a much further developed Electric Courage app for the iPhone in the iTunes App store. New builds are being released weekly.
While this variant of Electric Courage is centred primarily on nightlife, this sort of solution could very much be applied to all sorts of events. It can be the digital layer used at conferences in addition to (or instead of) hashtags on Twitter. “…we don't see Electric Courage stop at just being an app for nightlife, we see it as a blueprint for a platform that makes it easy to connect people in a location-specific context,” said Bays.