BY ALEX THOMAS | Feb. 20, 2017
Mitch Krause and Zander Yeiser have been developing their social media company called Numanity that is nearing the final stages of its release.
The company looks to combine aspects of other social media sites in a way that will help improve daily life for the user.
The dream has been a four-year process. The last two being the development of the company, and the previous two years were collecting the experiences that inspired the whole process.
As a freshman, Krause found himself unable to snowboard at Edgewood. He didn’t have a car, the school didn’t have a ski club, and there weren’t many people interested. There was no way to feed the passion that was an outlet for stress relief.
“The experience opened my eyes to how large this problem could truly be,” said Krause. “I began to notice that not being able to snowboard made me less happy, healthy, and less able to progress. Then I thought about how this alone was impacting the people around me.”
This was the inspiration for the project, but Krause couldn’t do it by himself. He and Yeiser met and had an independent study, which became the first step towards their goal. Yeiser, a computer science major with a business minor, brought his background to the project.
The process hasn’t been easy, and they have run into some issues. They were two broke college students with limited resources that had to learn all they could. First off, they had never started a business before, so they needed to learn all about the legalities. Also, there was the problem of explaining the process without giving too much away.
“It’s really hard to get people behind your idea when you can’t tell them everything for intellectual property purposes” said Krause. “We have to walk a fine line of disclosure in such a cut-throat, hyper-competitive industry.”
Some of the challenges were ones that ended up strengthening the project.
Yeiser described one of the challenges to the project, “The nature of the project obviously is very large, but this has been a really good thing for us as it has given us the opportunity to define and refine all of our features, brands, and how the service will interact with the user and vise-versa.”
Regardless of the challenges though they seem to be on track.
“Most startups that are successful typically work 4-5 years before they really push out a public release and become successful,” said Yeiser.
Fast forward to 2017, Numanity has an app constructed and will be doing beta testing and the distribution. The company has taken a lot of time defining and developing their brand. Numanity became a LLC in May of 2016, which means that they are the only ones who can do business under the name “Numanity.”
Yeiser gave some insight on how the process has gone in Madison. “We have had the opportunity to attend several large events in Wisconsin, getting connected with the business and startup scene here in Madison, which is really thriving and is on the verge of massive growth.”
Separating themselves from the competition is tough though. They think that Numanity is unique in the way that it has been inspired by a multitude of experiences and people. Krause had a few environmental studies courses that helped him realize the importance of finding solutions and mobilizing them. Then, in his economics courses, he learned to think about resource allocation and the importance of efficiency.
There was more inspiration that came from Elon Musk, and his endeavors with Tesla and SpaceX, to use business as a tool to help tackle real world issues. Numanity in itself is a culmination of inspiration, and that backs up their goal.
“The goal of Numanity is to use the mass medium of social media to provide people with the tools they need to live a happier, healthier, a more productive life”, said Krause. “We firmly believe that by helping improve the life of the individual, we are simultaneously strengthening communities and society as a whole.”