Working as a technology publicist and social entrepreneur, Amanda Spann often finds herself traveling for work. Somewhere between the hotels, city airports, and various locations, she discovered it was challenging to find bars that appeal to her taste.
Her answer was to use her expertise and connections to pull together a team of innovators to create a platform that could meet her needs. Launched last month, Alchomy App is a social drinking mobile application that enables users to locate bars and explore cocktail recipes within the comfort of their own home.
Available for free download on the App Store, Alchomy creates a curated community where users explore adult beverages based on their tastes and location. It gives access to over 16,000 drink recipes and has a locator to help uncover the best bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and lounges.
“Whether you’re entertaining guests or looking to celebrate on the town, Alchomy was created to be the all-encompassing resource for beverage enthusiasts,” says 29-year-old Alchomy founder and chief executive Spann, “Ultimately, we want to grow our community into a user-driven Food Network for drinks. We’re excited to make our impact in the space and are looking forward to launching dozens of new features over time.”
In fact, Spann is well placed to launch her own tech startup. She is the co-founder of Tiphup, a mentorship-driven accelerator and business consultancy that develops and supports seed stage technology and social impact ventures within Africa and the African Diaspora. Prior to her current ventures, Spann was the CMO of Blerdology, a tech social enterprise to support and engage underrepresented communities in technology.
Now the Chicago-based entrepreneur works closely with her business partner Sheena Allen, 26, who has come on board as Director of Engagement. Prior to Alchomy, Allen founded Sheena Allen Apps the creators of PicSlit, Dubblen, Words of Pics, InstaFunds, TwtBooth and Orange Snap. Her apps have aggregated over 2 million downloads (and counting). Other team members include IT Director, Christopher Davis, and Jonathan Pierre, Business Development Director.
Earlier this week UrbanGeekz’s Kunbi Tinuoye caught up with Spann in her first ever media interview talking about Alchomy, where she outlined her motivation and future plans for her startup.
What inspired you to launch Alchomy App?
While traveling, I realized it was often easy to find a great place to grab a bite, but a lot more difficult to find a great bar that appealed to my taste. I wanted to be able to meet my own set of personal needs while exploring the cultural drinking norms and traditions of new cities, countries and communities in a curated and convenient way. Upon expressing my desire to fellow drinkers, I found that many shared my sentiments of wanting to learn, create, share and discover more about craft cocktails and all of the interesting places we could have them. I also noticed that brands were struggling to engage with people like myself and retain our attention as recurring customers. I saw an opportunity to create a customer-centric community that would create two channels of communication and add value to both sides of the channel.
What’s your mission statement?
We don’t have a mission statement, yet, but we do have a mantra – ‘Moments Matter, Celebrate Accordingly’. We’ve built our community around the ‘spirited life’ and the notion that time is to be commemorated. So, we live it up, drink it down, laugh it off and never miss an opportunity to toast to the people, places, and happenings that make it all worthwhile.
What’s so unique about your App and what differentiates you from your competitors?
Alchomy is one of the few all-encompassing spirit apps. Not only do we have a sharing community fueled by spirit connoisseurs around the world, but over 16,000 drink recipes (nearly 8k more than our competitors) and a bar locator that helps you find venues in proximity to you.
We’re not looking to be another soapbox for opinions on food or drinks but more so a white glove service for drinks. We ultimately want to grow Alchomy to be your quintessential drinking resource. Whether you’re staying in or going out, Alchomy will be the cocktail concierge that provides tailored suggestions on what you should drink and where you should have it.
Why did you call the App “Alchomy“?
I played around with a number of names before I settled on Alchomy. The name is a play the chemistry of mixology and on Alcohol being a form of liquid gold.
What has been the most challenging part moving forward with this project?
Although I’ve marketed several other company’s apps, it’s my first time in the mobile founder’s seat. The first few months were a lot of trial and error, and there are still hiccups. But I look at the learning curve as an opportunity to learn more about the craft and entrepreneurship in general.
Have there been any key milestones or noticeable successes?
We’ve grown a really amazing following on social media. Although we’ve only been in the app store for a little over a month, we have over 28,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram. They’re incredibly engaged and supportive in our startup process.
Who (or what) do you credit today for helping you stay the course/keep focused?
I come from a supportive family of entrepreneurs. The standard of expectation has always required going above and beyond. Further, I only work on projects that I believe in. It’s a lot easier to stay focused when everything you do is a passion project and you’re sincerely excited about.
What can we expect to see from Alchomy App in the future?
Right now, we’re really taking in all the feedback we can from our users to prepare for Phase 2 and our Android release. Users can expect several new features, enhancements to our current designs and a better recommendation engine to enrich their drinking experiences.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Start now. Use what you have and do what you can. You’re a lot more qualified than you think you are.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter@Kunbiti