Growing up throughout Europe and in São Paulo, Brazil, Arthur Brenninkmeijer said he had the privilege of being able to travel easily and experience different cuisines.
After coming to the United States, Brenninkmeijer said he struggled to find restaurants that fit his taste, so he decided to create an easy, social way to discover recommendations from friends—SpotDrop.
“SpotDrop is an app that allows users to follow their friends and people they are interested in and see their recommended spots, restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife experiences so that they no longer have the kind of frustration of not knowing where to go,” Brenninkmeijer, founder and CEO of SpotDrop and CSOM ’22, said.
Brenninkmeijer said he struggled to find reliable restaurant recommendations from anonymous users on platforms like Yelp and Tripadvisor.
“[SpotDrop is] a much more personal recommendation about where to go out and in specific cities,” he said.
Approximately six weeks ago, Brenninkmeijer’s team uploaded SpotDrop to the App Store. The app’s targeted audience is what Brenninkmeijer and Jack McClelland, COO of SpotDrop and MCAS ’22, are calling “Gen Z foodies,” or college students looking for a unique food experience.
Brenninkmeijer said their marketing strategy has a “hyperlocal” concentration on college campuses, so the team plans to first launch the app to Boston College students and then expand to other schools in the Boston area, including Northeastern University, Boston University, and Harvard University.
“Next week is when we’re going to really start the marketing push, so I’d say that’s our official launch,” Brenninkmeijer said.
McClelland said he first met Brenninkmeijer during their freshman year.
“Arthur and I met freshman year because he was actually on the floor below me in Duchesne, so we’ve been friends since pretty much day one,” McClelland said.
That year, McClelland said he and Brenninkmeijer both participated in [email protected]—a 9-week program that helps students grow their new businesses—for different startups.
“We both came to BC already passionate about entrepreneurship, and the accelerator [program] helped give us the skills to build startups, and now we’re in the accelerator again but together this [time during] senior year,” McClelland said.
Brenninkmeijer said McClelland runs the operation side of the startup, facilitating outreach to partnerships and assisting with marketing.
McClelland said SpotDrop’s main partnerships include Herrd, an anonymous social media app popular among the BC community; Kured, a charcuterie restaurant in Boston started by a BC alumni; BC Gusto, a campus food journal; and various “foodie” accounts on Instagram that have created SpotDrop accounts and already added their choice spots.
Since SpotDrop is in its early stage, Brenninkmeijer said everyone on the team still works together to solve the problems facing the company. Right now Brenninkmeijer said the team’s marketing strategy hinges on trial and error.
Now, the app has a couple hundred users. McClelland said he hopes to acquire about 1,000 users by the end of April and possibly 5,000 to 10,000 users by the end of May—when he and Brenninkmeijer graduate from BC.
At the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship annual Demo Day, students pitch their start-ups to an audience after completing [email protected], according to [email protected]. This year, Brenninkmeijer and McClelland plan to publicly announce SpotDrop as part of Demo Day.
“It’s nice that it’s the week of Demo Day because I’d say both Jack and I are pretty excited to publicly announce SpotDrop next Wednesday, so it’ll be fun,” he said.
For Brenninkmeijer, success would be seeing people outside of his friends using SpotDrop.
“I’d love to one day be walking around Newbury Street and see someone use SpotDrop to find a restaurant they’re going to choose on Newbury Street,” Brenninkmeijer said. “I think that’d be pretty cool.”
Featured Image by Ben Schultz / For the Heights