SeeYou, founded by Illinois Tech Information Technology and Management student, Iciar Gonzalez, started off as a class project for her Business Innovation and IT Entrepreneurship with Industry Professor Adarsh Arora. Her goal was to provide a solution to reduce the culture shock of moving to a different country. Her original product had the ability to match foreigners with locals based on common interests and location with a goal of helping a foreigner become a part of the community and help improve their communication skills.
Iciar and her SeeYou team participated in a hackathon in New York called Protohack. After many hours of work at the hackathon she enhanced her product and SeeYou won top three in the hack and then first place after the final Question & Answer portion! In addition to first place, Iciar won $3,500 worth of services from App-Scoop, the event sponsor, and a 1 year scholarship to LEAP Online Elite a $2,388 value.
SeeYou has continued to develop since Protohack. To make the App appeal to a wider audience, SeeYou decided to pursue all newcomers to an area and not just foreigners, thus, it is oriented to everyone moving to a different city. Everyone moving to a different city feels a bit lost and disoriented, no matter where they come from. Getting used to communicating in a different language is definitely a huge barrier, but there is more than just the language. For example, an American moving from San Francisco to New York will also suffer from culture shock to some extent. One has to adjust to a new environment without the support of family, friends and network they had before moving, and probably has a hard time at the beginning.
One of the points of differentiation Iciar and the SeeYou product were able to identify was the fact that, upon entering the application, one can decide which role to play. For example, someone from Spain is a newcomer in New York, but they could act as a local if there is someone interested in moving to Spain. Also, one could consider their self a local after living in the same city for a long time. Another option would to get in contact with people from their own country who have already gone through the process of moving to a certain city.
With SeeYou, newcomers will be able to connect with locals by texting and meeting in person with the goal of making that transition to a new city as easy and simple as possible. It empowers people to build a new network and integrate faster into the community.
ProtoHack is a different type of competition that enables entrepreneurs to create an idea without needing to know how to code. Instead, participants use prototyping tools, drag and drop editors, wireframes, or anything else needed to visually demo an idea on stage. The hack is 12 hours and exposes participants to the best prototyping tools in the industry.
Learn more about Protohack
See a video of Iciar Gonzalez’s SeeYou presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69ftV9ijWBg
Learn more about Student Projects at Illinois Institute of Technology Information Technology and Management
Learn more about Information Technology and Management at Illinois Tech