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“Stay positive, have conviction in your idea and remember that you will hear a lot of ‘no’s’ before you find willing investors that believe in you and your vision.”

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Evzdrop is a Chicago-based tech startup and location-based interest network that allows people stay connected to what’s happening at places in real time. It’s a free iPhone app and Web platform that allows users to “eavesdrop” to get an inside look at any place they’re interested in through the people who are present and posting about what’s going on at any given moment.

Businesses can take advantage of Evzdrop’s custom campaigns and analytics dashboard to impact in-store experience, engagement and overall customer satisfaction. The dashboard provides key demographic information for business owners, as well as conversation volume and sentiment.

MO: How did you come up with the idea for Evzdrop?

David: The idea for Evzdrop came about last fall when I was grabbing a bite to eat with a friend in New York. I had ordered an appetizer special that was amazing but my friend’s menu pick wasn’t that great. I thought about how valuable it would be to have a platform through which I could broadcast my experience to others, specifically the people coming to eat at the restaurant later that night – those interested in what was going on at the restaurant right now. A review from a week ago wouldn’t do any good for those people. It was about tonight’s special and how it tasted right now. It was about connecting people to places in real time. Then I thought about how important this information would be to the restaurant or any business for that matter. It would be tremendously beneficial for them to “eavesdrop” on my experience and emotions when they were strongest, while I was inside the restaurant.

MO: How has your extensive background with operational sales in the start-up landscape helped influence the direction and vision of Evzdrop?

David: I think my instincts to consider business value above everything else have been helpful as we’ve fine-tuned our product and messaging. As a salesperson, you are seeking to solve a problem with a solution that has measurable value so all of our product development, messaging and marketing will have that in mind.

MO: How is Evzdrop bringing focus and relevance to the overwhelming amount of content being created in social media today?

David: Evzdrop uses the interest graph as the network’s foundation, letting users follow or “listen” to the places in which they have a vested interest. Evzdrop is less about connecting with friends and more about accessing credible insight in real time from a stranger who is at a place the user cares about, like a restaurant, stadium, hotel, store or club. The app provides specific information that’s valuable to the user by going outside of the social network.

MO: Congratulations on securing $500,000 in funding. Can you provide any tips for readers who are currently contemplating or in the process of trying to attract interest from investors?

David: Stay positive, have conviction in your idea and remember that you will hear a lot of ‘no’s’ before you find willing investors that believe in you and your vision. The quality of the team, soundness of the idea, plan for execution, differentiation and track record are critical and all play into increasing the chances for investment.

MO: You officially launched in September. What strategies are you currently using to create a user base and an Evzdrop community?

David: We’ve taken a few different approaches to create some initial reach. One example is the Chicago Blogger Network (CBN). They’re helping us spread the word locally. CBN’s bloggers are bringing their expertise to different categories of the app, like food, fashion, music and the places associated with them. College students from select universities are serving as Evzdrop brand ambassadors to help get other students using the app. We’re also forming partnerships with businesses that will help us cross-promote our platform and brand. With thousands of people in their databases, we anticipate that our business partners will help us achieve a stronger presence.

MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

David: We’re really excited about some new enhancements to the app that will be released in the next few weeks. We have new functionality built in that we think will change the game for a lot of businesses and open up communication channels that previously didn’t exist.


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