Definitely agree here. This is the main problem to solve for these event organization/discovery apps. This is especially true when existing solutions like Meetup already have a lot of very useful features and when your solution doesn't bring a significant added value compared to makeshift solutions (10x improvement they say?? Maybe that's a little much).
It's also hard when you refuse to use black hat and spammy tactics ;) Hopefully you guys won't have to resort to that.
We have moved out of this space with Jogabo (the meetup for sports... Well for us it was for soccer only). We are now focusing on making a social app for players with a twist of discovery. We think it will solve the chicken and egg problem.
We're not giving up, because the situation is just plain lame as it stands now. Facebook, email, whatsapp just doesn't cut it. We're in Lisbon right now and everyone and their mom plays soccer here yet it's still as much of a pain. The only games we've actually played were through local Jogabo users actually!
Happy to tell you more if interested. Just ping me on twitter
Thanks for the plug Jonny (I'm one of the founders of Jogabo). We are definitely staying clear of multisport and your comment is one of the main reasons. That said we are not a meetup for sports like Sportsy. It might work for you guys but I definitely think you are going to really focus on the chicken and egg problem. We tried this with our previous startup but we quickly realized we didn't want to venture in that space. Pre-populating your app with existing events will turn you into a "classifieds" type of product and I doubt you want to go there.
Nice stuff! Definitely beats using Gigya or Janrain which cost quite a bit. This is the only part we were interested in anyway so...
Are you guys planning on adding services and maintaining the services for regular updates across all these services?
This is a great way to work on your venture and be part of a community of entrepreneurs from all over the world. The biggest plus is the constant collaboration within the co-working space and the local ecosystem: exchange ideas, get quick feedback, learn from others' area of expertise, boost up on positive energy from the whole group...
Yeah, it is a tricky subject because if you are raising money down here you have to adapt to the local environment. There is definitely not as much money flowing around and the "normal" seed rounds are more in the 100k to 750k range which is a lot less than what it is in the USA. Down here, investors are more risk averse and less "smart" so they are more comfortable with smaller investment steps, especially in the early stages.
In addition, like @mtr mentioned, the money goes much further down here. The cost of living is around 4 times cheaper and the cost of hiring developers is getting close to 3 times cheaper and there is a lot less competition for talent. The good thing is that they have the same amazing climate as Cali down in Chile ;)
That said, you are definitely right about the signal it sends. I guess the pitch and the fundraising campaign has to be country sensitive in order to be more effective.
Reminds me of a ME310 project we did at Stanford. Problem statement was so vague but it was around disabilities and keeping people active in the winter. What was my first reaction? Step into a wheelchair and spend the next 4 days in it completely playing the role. 100% immersion! Then made a list of every possible experience i could go through in this situation and did as many as i possibly could. Now that is immersion my friends and it was key to our team really understanding the problems and building rapport with some of our users. I have to say it was also a magical, eye opening experience.