Smile Politely

U of I startup making Mouves

For those of us who have sat at home with nothing to do on a Friday night, a Uof I entrepreneur has developed an app to change this. The app, called The Mouve, uses your phones location services to connect you with events in your area. Your friends can see snapshots of events you have attended or reach out to your timeline to see what you decided to do in your day. I met with the brains behind The Mouve, Uduimoh Umolu, to learn about his vision and the future of The Mouve.

Upon our first meeting, I had the pleasure of seeing a demo of Uduimoh’s app. While looking at his computer screen there seemed to be well over a dozen other apps dedicated to social media. He’s done his research. After a brief explanation of the app’s purpose I started to ask myself, who is this guy? Within a few months he was able to identify his customers, create a fully functioning prototype, and he was ready to move on to version two. It became clear that he was someone to be reckoned with.

Business for Uduimoh and his team has not been easy but they wouldn’t let you believe that. They have unsuccessfully worked with several engineers, juggled college life, and are now facing that uphill battle of getting more users. Yet, despite their setbacks, I still want to bet on them.

When I asked Uduimoh about the University of Illinois contributing to his success, the first thing he pointed to was the iVenture Accelerator.

“That program was extremely beneficial and a catalyst in the work we are doing. We learned everything from the ground up how to become a company and make ourselves The Mouve Inc. from the accelerator.”

The iVenture Accelerator is a program developed by the University of Illinois to gather and guide the entrepreneurial talent on campus. One of the key managers of this entrepreneurial incubator is Ryan Singh. Ryan along with other entrepreneurs are responsible for introducing social entrepreneurship to the campus. Many alumni who have started (and sometimes sold) their businesses come back to this program to mentor and share advice with students.

After his graduation from the Accelerator program, Uduimoh found himself in that awkward place in between graduating and job hunting. With his heart and mind set on The Mouve he decided to pursue it full time until it works. One can’t help but admire his conviction.

Once the app is finally built Uduimoh must rely on his cunning marketing strategies to get the users. Initially they are targeting big 10 campuses, then they are going to use street teams on each campus and give them guidebooks on how to promote. To control growth every user has 7 invites so that the initial loyal user can build a social network without waiting for the campus to use it. The Mouve has their plan mapped out, now it’s simply a matter of execution.

When asked about the legacy he intends to leave behind, Uduimoh had this to say:

“Everything as small as a phone mount for the dashboard to an actual car that you are driving is an idea. It’s important for people to put ideas out into the world because you never know who or how it can impact the world.”

As we grow older we often lose that ambition and drive to change the world. Goals and dreams are traded for meetings and deliverables. In a simpler world we fall under the archetype of starving artist or ruthless capitalist.

Uduimoh is one of those rare breeds that understands the necessities of business but never lets his dreams out of his sight. He possesses the ability to fuse his childlike creativity with the wisdom of a much older man. He views the world as an incubator for his ideas. In his reality anything can be created with a little inspiration and an abundance of discipline. I’m eager to see his what he has planned for his next move.

For more information see The Mouve website.

More Articles