Detroit Statrup Concentrates On Social Media ‘Future Tense’
SAN FRANCISCO — The Detroit-based tech startup UpTo last week announced it launched a new social application focused on the “future tense,” allowing users to see what their friends are up to ahead of time and share what they will be up to directly from their existing calendar.
UpTo was one of only 40 start-ups chosen to launch at last week’s prestigious Launch Festival in San Francisco.
Unlike Facebook and Foursquare, which allow people to share the recent past and present, UpTo delivers both social and utility value by focusing on the future. UpTo deeply integrates with the user’s existing calendar to allow them to share and comment on meetings, appointments and events with a network of friends. With UpTo, users control exactly which events get shared and with whom.
“Over the past several years we’ve seen a social media landscape dominated by status updates and check-ins that are after-the-fact,” said UpTo co-founder and CEO Greg Schwartz. “Our approach was to build a social layer that deeply integrates with your existing calendar so users can share what they’re up to and chat about it within the application. The calendar is the platform that most people already use to keep track of activities and events. With UpTo you can share your daughter’s school play with your family, your upcoming sales meeting with work colleagues, or this weekend’s night out with friends. UpTo encompasses the next evolution of social media by going beyond the social graph and building the intent graph.”
Users can add friends to their UpTo network from their existing social graph. When a friend is added, they can be placed into Groups, such as Friends, Family, Co-Workers, or others. The user is then able to see a dynamic feed of all upcoming events — his own, and those of his friends — looking forward in time. An intuitive Quick Share button allows the user to share events by simply tapping an event and selecting Groups to share with.
The company says UpTo is also the first social platform to enable ‘Calendar Tagging’ as another way to share events. With this unique feature, users can tag the title of an event in their existing calendar to share with a specific UpTo Group. Users have the option to share events with multiple groups and can also share events straight from their calendar to Facebook or Twitter.
UpTo is based in Detroit and was co-founded by Schwartz along with David Webber, CTO; Chris Kaufman, chief of product design; and Mathew Piccinato, head of mobile development. The company is backed by Detroit Venture Partners and Ludlow Ventures.
“At Detroit Venture Partners we’re always looking for entrepreneurs that are committed to developing innovative, successful businesses – and the UpTo guys are just that,” said Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of DVP. “UpTo’s seamless calendar integration and focus on actionable, intent-based information distinguishes it from other apps like it in the space, and it’s that type of ingenuity that makes a startup thrive.”
UpTo is currently available in the App Store for iPhone users, and is expected to be available for Android users this summer.
For more information about UpTo, visit www.upto.com.
Detroit Venture Partners (www.detroitventurepartners.com) is a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies with a strong emphasis on Detroit-based startups. In addition to capital, the company provides hands-on coaching, mentorship, support, and resources to help drive growth and success. Founded in 2010 and led by Josh Linkner, Dan Gilbert, Brian Hermelin and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the firm aims to create jobs, urban density, and hope by backing the next generation of Detroit entrepreneurs.