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What if there were a way to find out what was happening around you in real time so that you wouldn’t miss out? Snipe, a startup company based in the St. Charles OPO co-working space and a 2015 Arch Grants finalist, has figured out how to do just that. It is a location-based visual content app that delivers a live visual feed of images and 10-second videos that show what’s happening within a 10-mile radius around you.
Snipe co-founder, Alyssa Rispoli, is a recent graduate of Lindenwood University, a best-selling author and a serial entrepreneur. She started her first nationally recognized company at the age of 20 and shows no signs of slowing down. We caught up with her to find out more about this latest venture.
How did Snipe get Started?
My business partner, Gilad Brunfman, and I were sitting in lab at Lindenwood University on a snowy day. We looked out the window and saw a bunch of kids sledding. Then we looked at each other and were like, “Why didn’t we get the memo?” We wanted to come up with a way to know what was happening around us, the moment it was happening. We brought in some of our friends from Lindenwood and have this great team of people making it happen.
Tell me more about your team.
My team is my rock! I love these guys so much. We ended up in St. Charles for different reasons, mainly school, sports and family, but they’ve become some of my best friends. We all met at Lindenwood through classes and friends, but we come from all over the world. Gilad is from Israel. Nishan Shretsha is from Nepal. Gerardo Rivera is from Honduras. Boris Pallares is from Columbia. And I’m from Pennsylvania.
Why Snipe? What makes it different?
Most people have friends from all over the country or even the world. When they scroll through a typical social network feed they don’t necessarily see what is happening right now and right in their own neighborhood. Snipe connects people to their local area.
You don’t have to follow people or sign up. You’re automatically “friends” with everyone in your community, and it’s anonymous. You just download the app then start posting and viewing pics and videos of what’s going on around you.
Also, you can only upload pictures and images in the app, not from the Internet or camera roll. That way you know what you are seeing is really local.
What kind of traction has Snipe seen so far?
Snipe is currently available on iPhones only, and we have more than 1,000 users. When Android launches in October we expect this number to double. It has only been live for a few weeks and we haven’t even begun marketing yet. So the users we have are from word of mouth and social media. Right now we are testing what people like and what they want, fixing bugs, making it awesome. As soon as Android comes out, our marketing team will begin.
We’re also developing a couple of features that allow people to get creative with Snipe: Sneaks and Missions. A sneak is looking at other feeds to see what is going on around the world. And every week there is a different mission in the Snipe feed. We might ask people to Snipe the best beard or the cutest dog.
Tell me about a recent experience you’ve had with Snipe.
It’s so fun to go to new areas and see what people are doing. We found out that Taste of St. Louis was in Chesterfield this year because we happened to be at the mall, looked at Snipe and saw it was right there. So we went!
What do you do when you aren’t working on your startup?
We love Picasso’s coffee! The best coffee in the world is right across the street from our office in St. Charles. We work hard but we also believe in having fun. If we aren’t enjoying ourselves, then why do it? And of course, we Snipe.