CrossRoads Create, a social media app developed by four UR seniors, aims to provide a platform to assemble teams for projects.
While Sharfuz Shifat was working at the Meliora LaunchPad — a student organization he co-founded — in his sophomore year, Shifat had the vision of making an efficient social media network for people to work on their ideas. “The world would be a better place if you could easily find people who have the same interests, vision and complementary skills to build something,” he said.
He then reached out to Carolyn Zelicof, Andrew Nyaisonga and Sandesh Paudel.
“I got a text from Sharfuz saying he was looking for a [user experience] designer, and I thought this project was really exciting,” Zelicof said.
With their team assembled, the four co-founders were now ready to materialize their vision.
CrossRoads Create currently has a landing page where you can sign up to become an alpha user and provide feedback on the product. Site visitors are met with the logo and the motto: “Where ideas meet execution.”
Minimizing cost was one of the main challenges of the development process. The two engineers, Nyaisonga and Paudel, were able to develop the platform without overhead costs while keeping scalability in mind. Nyaisonga explained: “There is an easier way to do something, but it might not be cheap. So, we had to choose the harder way for some things.”
On the design side, Zelicof, the lead user interface and user experience designer, spoke of the challenge of building a good user experience from an idea, as well as upholding her team’s expectations.
Juggling school work, job applications, and the app development was another curveball thrown their way. “But when you’re really passionate about it, you can do it. Not everyone has to drop out of college to build a startup.” Shifat said.
He has predicted that the costs will be manageable for the next six to eight months. The team will also be seeking funding from venture capitalists to scale up its platform.
Wanting to make the platform as accessible to users as possible, the team decided that the platform would be free to use.
CrossRoads Create will be launched this week, and the founders have been busy preparing their launch strategy, promoting their product through extensive use of social media marketing campaigns, maintaining their landing page, and interacting with the AIM Center for Entrepreneurship and iZone.
“We are all super invested in this idea and we are all really excited to see where this goes,” Zelicof said.