Meaningful social contact is the slogan of SAM Application. Elena Köstler and her team are developing a mobile app to combat loneliness among young adults (18-35). They want to bring people together offline via an online platform.
“34 million people are socially isolated in the EU. Today, it is more likely to become lonely between the age 18-34 than for people aged 55 or older. Because there is still a big taboo on loneliness, we want and need to raise awareness. Everybody can feel lonely from time to time. We want to prevent that this very common feeling becomes a long term problem”, says Elena Köstler. Elena and her team are selected for the Startup in Residence Programme Amsterdam. This allows them to work with city partners to build, refine and/or co-develop their app further.
We are more connected than ever, but experience less meaningful social contact. SAM Application is not another dating platform, but rather an app to find friends. Elena Köstler about the platform: “Our app is a platform to share daily events with people around you, you won’t swipe faces like in Tinder or happn, but you will see events around you, hosted by people like you and me. Imagine you want to play tennis with someone, attend a cultural event, or need a study buddy for the upcoming statistics exam, but you know nobody who wants to join you. You probably won’t post on Facebook: “Who wants to join me for tennis on Saturday”? It is also unlikely that you will start a meetup group for that. This is exactly where our platform comes in. Sharing daily events with likeminded people, in small groups (max. 20 people)”.
In this way the app facilitates meaningful social connections. According to research, meaningful social contact is most effective in fighting loneliness in the long term. With the use of artificial intelligence the app can make the match among users and social events more effectively and increase the chances that the users will find like-minded people.
The Startup in Residence programme (SIR) connects startups and scale-ups with key social challenges in the Metropolitan Area Amsterdam. The Programme offers startups an intensive training programme, as well as the support of professional coaches and mentors. The startups will also be provided with working space and have access to the City’s network.
Elena Köstler: “We are more than happy that we can participate, co-create, learn and grow with SIR. We will make full use of the programme and grow our project to tackle loneliness to the fullest. Most importantly, we hope that the city of Amsterdam will be our launching customer”.
Demonstrator Lab has helped Elena and her team in developing their app. Elena: “The D-lab is not only an office space where you can start prototyping, find first customers and grow your idea to a company. The D-lab is also a vibrant startup & research community where you feel at home and understood. We couldn’t be more thankful that we are allowed to be a part of this”.
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