Even if you have a great idea for a tech product, half of the battle is in team creation. Whether you be an artist, designer, or developer, there are always skills that you don’t have that help transform your idea into a reality. That’s the reality New York-based CollabFinder has been trying address, and today it has announced a new feature to its website.
CollabFinder is a Betaworks-backed co-founder dating platform that allows users to submit tech projects and connect with others who may be able to lend a hand. Now the platform has announced a new section of the site called “Groups,” which give individuals a way to interact with bigger organizations, companies, or cities.
CollabFinder launched earlier this year with the idea that people want to connect with others on projects they’re working on, not just to “network” with other techies. The website allows tech-oriented individuals to list ideas they want to build, and then lets others who like the idea connect with them. Right now CollabFinder has over 3,100 members on the site. This new “groups” feature is a way match these hungry developers and designers with organizations’ who have open APIs or datasets.
So, for example, if someone wants to build an app that utilizes Flickr’s photos, he or she can submit the idea to CollabFinder’s Flickr community and see if others want help built it. Conversely, people who like Flickr but don’t necessarily have a project in mind can browse the group and see what ideas others have. Before, users could only post their projects individually, and they weren’t grouped within any organizational format.
This update is an extension of CollabFinder’s role in the NYC BigApps project. A few months ago, the city chose CollabFinder as the platform it used to power the city’s app competition. So the company built out a site that focused on connecting the developers and designers who were interested in making apps with New York City’s open data.
CollabFinder’s co-founder Sahadeva Hammari said that the city thought the apps developed in the previous competitions weren’t good enough. “The reason is because there wasn’t a great team behind it,” he told me. Quite often, the apps were built by only one person with a grand idea who didn’t execute it well. So New York chose CollabFinder as a way to build better teams who could then use the city’s data.
According to Hammari the BigApps project went phenomenally well. With this success, he thought it would be only logical to make what CollabFinder built for the city available to all. “We wanted to give a company the same tools we gave the city,” he said.
As of now, the site has eight featured groups, which include Flickr, eBay, and NYC BigApps. Hammari sees only more joining, as it would be a great place for companies to find individuals interested in working with their data.
Hammari views this new feature as a way to better organize and navigate the site. And with the tools provided from each group’s data, the projects can bloom into fruitful enterprises. He sees his platform as a way for makers to make apps “that can become startups.”
And thus, a tech love story is born.