For its first developers conference, Samsung is betting on tiny event app company Topi to make a huge splash.
Like its bigger and more prominent event app competitors, New York City-based Topi lets event attendees connect with each other and access information around the event, all the while giving event organizers an effective way to foster engagement among attendees.
But Topi also goes a step further the other solutions I’ve seen: It searches LinkedIn profiles to let you find interesting people to connect with; it has a custom geo-fencing solution that lets attendees in multiple locations; and it has even developed a way for you to seamlessly chat with other attendees who speak different languages.
For Samsung’s Developers Conference, which takes place at the end of this month in San Francisco, the electronics giant worked together with Topi to create a custom version of its app. The event will be a major proving ground for both Topi and Samsung: It’s Topi’s biggest event yet, and it’s also Samsung’s first big event to get developers excited about its products. (Full disclosure: VentureBeat is also partnering with Samsung for the developer conference.)
Perhaps Topi’s biggest draw is that it simply works. At a demonstration at the NY Tech Meetup in August (where Samsung first caught word of Topi), I was able to get up and running with Topi in just a few minutes. It found the event instantly (other apps often had me spend several minutes searching for an event), and I was able to jump into some lively group chats with other attendees.
As someone who suffers through plenty of event apps, I was surprised that Topi could deliver an experience that felt more seamless and dynamic than bigger players like Bizzabo and CrowdCompass.
While Topi doesn’t yet have a big name in the technology world, founder and CEO David Aubespin tells me the company is getting plenty of attention from the event industry. It was invited to attend the Global Meetings and Events Expo in Barcelona next month, and it’s also being profiled by Convene magazine for its geo-fencing and translation technology.
“A big reason people love talking to us is that we’ve acquired this tech leader image in the event industry,” Aubespin said. “We’ve become kind of a voice for how we can use tech for event management.”
After several conversations with Aubespin, I’m particularly impressed by Topi’s potential outside of events. With its geo-fencing technology, the company could eventually let anyone create a mini-event around their phone and start group Topi conversations with people nearby. It’s also a decent solution for companies who want to keep remote offices connected.
Topi has also been tapped by Google for an upcoming event with its Google for Entrepreneurs program, a world-wide effort to promote budding local entrepreneurs. (NYC startups take note: Google also heard about Topi from its NY Tech Meetup demo.)
Aubespin said his team has been seeing a steady wave of interest from friends, NYC startups, and companies like Samsung, who are eager to make their events different than the competition. Topi is also starting the fund-raising process so it can scale its business to cover bigger events.
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