Is social media really improving our social lives? According to some statistics, we have never been more detached from each other, and the more virtual connections we make, the fewer chances we have to get excited about the same things.
Serial entrepreneur Rola Fayyad couldn’t agree more with that. In an attempt to redefine the way we interact with our friends, this 28-year-old Jordanian may have finally come up with a solution.
Friendture is a social app designed to offer a one-stop hub where friends can create, invite and manage group activities upon shared interests – all in one click and without the headache that organizing events typically entails.
Friendture is the result of two-week intense fellowship program which took place last October in Amman. The event was organized by Open Hands Initiative, US-based no-profit, and brought together twenty young female entrepreneurs from Jordan and the US. Originally, Fayyad pitched MICEit, an events booking engine for the MENA region, but soon realized it was Friendture that was worth competing for.
Now in its final stage, the company is in the process of raising seed funding and creating new partnerships to push the business forward.
The official launch of the product will take place by the end of the year. After that, Fayyad plans to establish a solid presence in the Levant – with Lebanon and the UAE as privileged targets – and gradually tap into more mature markets across the US.
Looking forward, Fayyad hopes Friendture will disrupt everyday relationships creating niche communities of like-minded friends that cultivate and enjoy similar passions.
Amid a proliferation of channels and social media platforms, content overwhelms and keeping sight of what truly interests us is not as easy as it seems.
“We have all been there: from one side endless notifications and group chats for plans we are not even keen on, and from the other side a raft of activities we would have loved to take part in if only we knew before,” she said over email.
“The problem here is that none of us really knows which common interests we have with our friends or colleagues, and as a result we miss out a lot of opportunities,” she added.
In a recent interview released at The Learning Curve Podcast, Fayyad said that Jordan may not be an ideal destination for finding partnerships and investors, but a thriving tech ecosystem is opening up unique opportunities for getting referrals and networking with other up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Fayyad also serves as a founding member and mentor for Girls in Tech – Jordan Chapter, which is focused on empowerment, engagement and education of women in the technology sector.
In Jordan, she says that the number of women in tech is growing, and more and more successful companies are led by female professionals. Though they have already managed to build a community of capable entrepreneurs that support each other to forge ahead with their businesses, Fayyad believes that the best is yet to come.