Facebook’s popularity has faded with students. Contributing factors include privacy and mental health concerns, and an uncool reputation for being “the app your parents use to find the bake sale”. Instead, young people are moving to more targeted, intimate and less permanent “digital campfires”. In 2015 Sean Monteiro and Francesco Virga ran Orientation Week at Queen’s University. Working together, they came to realize that their social interactions on campus were creating lasting memories and friendships. They also noticed that as fellow students were leaving social platforms like Facebook, they were stringing together sets of disparate digital tools to run events, sell tickets, exchange ideas, and pay each other back for shared transactions on pizzas, beer and Uber rides home at the end of a night. In 2019 they decided to start Bounced Inc. Their digital campfire app, called Bounce, is billed as “a one-stop shop to easily host, discover, and attend events”.
“Bounce drives social end user engagement around events, sells tickets and also acts as a social payments wallet,” said Monteiro, the company’s CEO. Monteiro, who has a BASc with a focus on biomechanical & materials engineering, worked in corporate innovation at GM, in a German e-scooter startup and at Front Row Ventures, a student-run venture capital fund. He handles business and growth operations.
Virga is the company’s CTO. With a BASc in Engineering Physics and Computing, he led software development at an agri-tech startup and also worked at the Cognitive Development Hub division at his university’s Centre for Advanced Computing before he and Monteiro teamed up.
Launch Lab’s CEO Scott Runte was introduced to the co-founders during their first year in business, offering mentorship and business tools to accelerate their growth. “We’d heard of Launch Lab from other successful startups,” said Monteiro. “They deliver. We’ve enjoyed an unmatched level of support from Launch Lab’s Entrepreneurs In Residence. They are perfectly set up to help you build your new venture.”
To read how the Future Proof program’s Digital Transformation Team worked with Bounced, please click here for the full story.