Metro, Business, Featured Story

EchoME, Founded by BC Grads, Recognized At HUBweek Event

In an age of social media, individuals can instantly share pictures, videos, and messages with each other. Created by Boston College graduates, EchoMe is a new application, that allows users to instantly share music with others. The application uses a new music technology that integrates popular streaming services and allows users to broadcast their music in real time.

EchoMe was founded two years ago by Christian Nicholson and Michael Gordon, both BC ’15. The two learned how to code and develop the software that is now used in the application. Anders Bill, MCAS ’17, joined the team just a few months in, and the trio has since built up and expedited the growth of the company. Today, Nicholson and Gordon are heads of development and create the programming language. Bill works on data analytics and finds ways to automate tasks to help with the growth of the company.

Users of the application can be both broadcasters and listeners. Broadcasters share playlists from their favorite streaming services, such as Spotify and SoundCloud. Followers can see when they go live and can be in sync with their selections. Essentially, broadcasters become their own radio stations and can share their music with a network of followers in real time. Broadcasters and followers would be perfectly synchronized so they are listening to the same beats and the same time.

“What this allows us to do is to go to different influencers and different celebrities, artists, and athletes,” Bill said. “It allows them to talk to their fans and their followers to show a little bit more about their lives, I could listen to [what] Lebron James [is listening to] in the locker room before an NBA Final.”

Though the application is meant to allow people to listen to music together, it is also a platform for music discovery. After surveying around 500 students, the team found that 99 percent had more than one streaming service, and 85 percent had a Spotify or SoundCloud account. Currently there are 13 major music streaming services in the world. EchoMe can combine any of these services—it is just a matter of deciding which services to integrate first. Currently, SoundCloud is 100 percent integrated and Spotify, 85 percent. According to Bill, the team is looking to add in YouTube Red and Google Play next.

Bill has always known that he wanted to work either for himself or with a small group, at a company he really believed in. When the opportunity came to get involved with EchoMe, he jumped at it.

“I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Bill said. “[Nicholson and Gordon] have this really amazing spirit … they are very confident in what they do and they make people believe in their dreams.”

Being at BC has helped the app receive support through the Shea Center for Entrepreneurs, which has allowed them to develop various accelerator programs and incubators to help grow the business.  And just a few months after conception, Bill pitched his company at the Elevator Pitch Competition and won Best Pitch and Crowd Favorite. BC flew EchoMe down to Georgia to compete in a business competition, in which it was named as one of the top five undergraduate businesses in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team has also been to Ireland, where they spoke at the Education and Innovation Symposium.

Starting a new company comes with its challenges. Now that Nicholson and Gordon are two years out of college and working on their own, they have begun to feel pressure to succeed. They no longer have the steady support they once had, and their biggest challenge now is determining when to expedite the growth and release a finished product. Currently, the goal is to see what features consumers want, and they are perfecting the application for the market. They are gathering feedback and tracking users to see how many people download the application and continue to use it. They have the software and investors, but it is just a matter of timing.  

Bill has high hopes for the future of the company.

“The plan for the future is to do what we’re doing right now, but exponentially faster,” he said. “We want to bring on different developers, different influencers who would use our application.”  

Featured Image by EchoME

September 29, 2016