For the first time, the people behind FictionFeel met each other at Digix creative hack. Ingrid who worked as a programmer at Tartu Public Library, introduced the project „Tartu in fiction“ and shared her idea of turning that web-based information into a mobile application. During two intensive days at the hackathon, the idea began to take shape: interactive map-based mobile application which lets the user discover a city through fiction.
„Our goal is to introduce different cities through poems, texts, old photos and cultural heritage,“ explains Varje Kass, member of FictionFeel. „We want to offer the joy of discovery for our users.“
As Virve was just finishing her studies at university, she attended a pitching training at UT IdeaLab organized for student representatives. This was the first time where Virve heard about STARTER pre-incubation program and as FictionFeel was just looking for new team members, the team decided to take the chance and join the program.
STARTER brought together students from universities and vocational schools
When entering STARTER program, FictionFeel was looking for a designer and a business manager. At the first event of the program at IdeaLab, they met designer Raul who liked the idea and soon become the member of their team.
Well-functioning team should bring together knowledge and experiences from different fields – that was exactly the case for FictionFeel. For instance, Virve has a degree in Sociology – that helped a lot when doing customer research! They also had two developers from Tartu Vocational Education Centre in their team – they were the ones developing the mobile application.
According to Varje, STARTER program was extremely useful for creating a business plan and developing pitching skills. Ingrid adds that they also learned how to see their product through their customers’ eyes. Both girls recommend STARTER program to everyone who wants to develop themselves. „During the program, the focus is mostly on creating business case and learning how to present ideas – those skills will be beneficial even if the idea itself fails.“
After the program ends, each team needs to carry on with product development themselves. All the FictionFeel team members will continue with their daily jobs, but also with working on the mobile application. They have already made a contract with City of Tartu to develop mobile application for Tartu based on teele.luts.ee database. „We have created nonprofit organization MTÜ Kohalugu and we are looking forward to creating next apps for the next cities already!“ says Virve.
Ingrid Saare, Varje and Virve Kass, Taavi Künnapuu, Raul Jaanson, Jaanika Müürisepp, Heng Wei-Wei and Ty Tran participated at IdeaLab’s STARTER program. Ingrid Saare, Varje and Virve Kass, Taavi Künnapuu and Ivo Posti will continue with MTÜ Kohalugu.
FictionFeel has also been featured in local newspaper Tartu Postimees.