Work in progress: Enjoyn
There are plenty of events for students in Eindhoven, the only thing missing is a platform where you can find everything in one place. Former TU/e students Daan van Vugt and Maximilian Messmer therefore developed the Enjoyn app. Not only to provide a great event search tool, but also to combat loneliness among students. "We want to do things different from Facebook."
German Maximilian Messmer and Dutch Daan van Vugt met during their PhD projects in Eindhoven. Their topic: nuclear fusion. A partly idealistic choice. Contributing to a better, green world by generating sustainable energy. But also: a long-term project. The two decided to set up something concrete next to their scientific work and started an enterprise. The basis for Enjoyn is laid after a conversation with Lara Hofstra, Student Diversity Officer at TU/e.
What is the idea behind Enjoyn?
Maximilian: "There are about 120 student associations at the TU/e alone. In addition, the university itself organizes all sorts of things. You can do theater, play cricket or pitch ideas for your startup. But where do you find a quick overview of what’s on tonight? One event is promoted on Facebook, the other on a website. There is a mismatch in offer and promotion."
Daan: "Enjoyn is a place where activities for all Eindhoven students come together. For example, Fontys students can also play sports at the TU/e Sports Center, but many people are not aware of that. We want to unlock that kind of information."
What about loneliness among students?
Maximilian: "We talked about that with Lara. There is a group of students who easily find their way within the Eindhoven student life. But there are also many students who come to Eindhoven on their own and have difficulty making new contacts. That social isolation is often expected to exist among internationals, but we see it just as much among Dutch students."
How do you bring students together?
Daan: "We have a mix and meet tool on Enjoyn. In the app you indicate your interests and whether you are open to joining an event together with someone else. This makes it easier to meet new people with similar interests."
How far are you in the development?
Daan: "Last summer we ran our first pilot at TU/e and at Christmas we tested the mix and meet tool. Our goal was to bring together students for the holiday season. In very small groups of course, because of the corona regulations. You could choose from three activities: baking cookies, painting like Bob Ross or joining a diner together. Then you were classified according to your interests and matched with others. We also assigned one organizer to the group. Someone who feels comfortable taking that first step.”
“The app is now accessible to students and employees of TU/e and Fontys University of Applied Sciences. And we are supported by Stehven and Brainport Development."
What did you learn from the pilots?
Maximilian: "We found out that the most successful activities were usually not the most expensive ones. Often the small-scale, bottom-up events were the most popular."
How do you see the future for Enjoyn?
Maximilian: "We have the infrastructure built now. In the coming years we want to grow. Besides being a software company we are also a consulting agency. We offer advice in community building. For example, every month dozens of PhDs and postdocs arrive at the TU/e. How do you ensure an excellent onboarding process? And even more important: how do you help them feel at home in a new city?"
Which one of you develops the software?
Daan: "That is my job within the company, Max does the business side. I've been designing websites for companies for eight years."
What is your revenue model?
Maximilian: "Companies pay for the development of the app, their users can then use it for free. We don't sell any data. I don't want other companies to do that with my data either. We want to scale up, without becoming a Facebook. Our algorithm is designed to quickly find a good match for an event or a new buddy. Our goal is not to keep you on our platform as long as possible.
Is there anything we can help you with?
Daan: "We would like to get in touch with people who have experience in community building, we are interested in the successful and less successful stories haha. And we like to engage with campuses, companies and large organizations that want to strengthen their community in a fun and easy way."
Do you have tips or suggestions for Daan and Maximilian, or do you want to collaborate?
You can reach them via email@example.com.
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