Two years ago, the marketing head of a new tech start-up in Zurich contacted me: Peter Schiratzki, the founder of an app that was meant to connect people in real life - the opposite of Facebook. The app was Spontacts, and the idea was great. I had high hopes for the young entrepreneurs working out of the HUB Zurich.
Fast forward to 2014, and there is good news to report. Despite the many app hits and flops, Spontacts is still around. It is quite a popular app - especially in German speaking Europe.
However, the founders Christoph Seitz, Daniel Kästli, Florian Specker and Peter Schiratzki have gone separate ways - yet together. In 2013, they sold Spontacts to the Munich based Scout24. While the sale was not an Instagram billion dollar deal, it was enough to encourage the team to try something new.
After starting Spontacts and running it since 2009, the team knows that they work well together and can launch great apps. With that realization, the crew got together towards the end of last year, visited Daniel who lives in Helsinki, and had a weekend-long brainstorming session about what they could create next.
The result: Rundercover.
A New Approach to Mobile Fitness
If you were at the Y&R Group Switzerland's Trends Exchange event on February 4th, you would have learned that wearable technology has become ubiquitous: Smartphones, smart watches, Nike Fuel bands, etc. However, while there are many apps that track your activities, there are few that actively seek to increase your health. Rundercover brings together storytelling and technology to increase your physical activity.
Put your earbuds in, turn on Rundercover, and get ready to run, jump, and dodge your way to safety. You are a spy and hot on your tail is the enemy trying to capture you. With simple audio cues and surround sound, you will experience what it is like to live like James Bond or Jason Bourne (Whoever you identify with more).
You will surely see your city or favorite running spot transformed into a deceptive, action-packed world...
Agents and Donations Wanted
To make this idea come alive, the group has launched a Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to crowdfund the capital needed to develop the app and get it onto your iPhone and Android mobile as quickly as possible. Check out their Kickstarter video and campaign:
The Possibilities are Seemingly Unlimited
As Peter told me over dinner a few weeks ago, the great thing about Rundercover is that once it starts rolling, the story possibilities are seemingly unlimited. They will be able to develop special story lines that can help you work everything from endurance to speed, or simply provide more entertainment.
Rundercover illustrates that Zurich continues to produce unique and innovative tech ideas. It may not yet be Europe's Silicon Valley, but it is definitely Switzerland's. And with Rundercover, the city will hopefully be able to boast a further new and popular app. Who knows, maybe Rundercover will become these guys' Instagram moment!