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Alessia Sannazzaro has always loved to create. Since graduating from London’s Goldsmiths and Queen Mary University in 2012, she has helped to develop Choosic, an app which allows you to discover new music based on a Tinder like model: swipe right for tracks you love, swipe left for ones you don’t. The app has been a great success, being selected as a semi-finalist for MassChallenge UK, one of IdeaSquares’ key partners.
The original idea came from co-founder Chris Underdown, who Alessia met at University. Being a composer and musician, he knew how hard it is for artists to get their music heard. Therefore, Alessia and Chris started a YouTube channel, recording and releasing live music videos for emerging artists. The channel received a lot of attention, but Chris and Alessia felt creating the content was very time consuming. “We then realised that we can make a greater impact by creating an app, so that’s what we did,” she says.
“As we had the idea we were lucky enough to find exactly the right team to build it. We started by keeping the app very simple and launched our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in October 2014. We then continued improving the product, getting user feedback and building on that one step at the time.” With media support, the company has boosted its user base to 28,000.
Having never studied business, Alessia has generally learnt by doing. “I have learned so much since starting Choosic that I don’t know where to begin,” she says. “I definitely improved my management and team skills and learned to focus on objectives with a limited timeframe and budget. I also believe it made me grow as a person as I became more confident and I now believe in myself”.
Being part of MassChallenge has also had a huge impact on Choosic. “We were thrilled when they announced that we are part of the MassChallenge cohort 2015,” says Alessia. “So far it has been an amazing experience. We just finished the bootcamp, packed with really interesting keynotes and workshops and we are just about to choose our mentors at the moment. One of the best things about MassChallenge so far is all the connections you create both with other startups, mentors and just very helpful people. I am so excited to see where we will be by the end of it”.
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