The focus of the app
Naise is a safe space app to find local events and places. Start discovering locally while being in a safe environment. While doing this we want to focus on 2 pillars when trying to provide you a better "going out" experience:
Discovering: Imagine having 1 platform where you can find timetables, opening hours, FAQ, ticketing, content about local event and places. You don’t have to imagine it because we have it! Our purpose is to provide you all the necessary info about local events and place on 1 platform. You can find local festivals, youth movement activities, pubs, clubs and so much more on 1 app. (Fact: Did you know we have more than 8 festival apps in Belgium alone? When the festival is over you have almost no interest in further using that app, isn't that a shame.)
Safety:* We believe it is important to discover the above in a safe environment. Naise provides you a safe space where you can fully focus on discovering and less worrying about your safety. Within the app we will work around 3 pillars prevention, handling in the moment and care after an incident.
- Prevention: Tips will be provided on how to prevent and handle harassment cases. Next to this we will also raise awareness on alcohol consumption and drug use as these are topics that can be neglected sometimes. These tips and tricks should help people prevent or solve cases on their own.
- Handling the situation: Notification buttons will be in place so that you can notify the (bar)staff, security, first aid or even your friends. When you request help they can help your on a distance (via a chat) and come to assist you. Don’t worry, we will make sure that people cannot be selective on whether they want to help you or not. No picture, location or name is being shown in a notification to prevent this. This will only be visible when a case is accepted by the helper(s) so they NEED to handle it (This is not in place with notifying friends).
- Care after an incident: After a case is being handled and completed, the app will give you some advice. For example, a harassment case will likely be guided to a safe space place on the event (if there is one) and/or will give you info on where to find the help you need. Regarding alcohol and drugs consumption we will do the same thing. For example guide you towards the first aid post to get you the help you need.
*All our tips, advice and guidelines regarding safety are provided by Sensoa.
Naise is pronounced like "Nice" [naɪs] and stands for "New Activities In a Safe Environment". This name was chosen as the word "Nice" is a very common word used in today's society. We wanted to name to give context on what we are doing, this is why we used "Naise" instead of the common way of writing it. The first letters of every word, except the indefinite articles "a" was used to form it. (Fact: We often introduce our app without the name and people often say "Wow that's a nice app" so people already know our name. The funny thing is, people also interpret it sometimes as the "Naise" in "Mayonnaise", we are from Belgium so we do like our Belgian fries with mayonnaise.)
LogoWe try to connect people with events and places but also with each other. Therefore we choose to take a circle and the connections are referred to by the arrows. You have probably noticed that the arrows do not touch each other. We have done this as we want people to live next to each other and go there own way in doing whatever they want (on our app). There is a place for everyone and this is what we want to show people through our logo. The funny thing is, it would have been arrows alone. Until we discovered that we could see some sort of letter "N" in it. Coincidentally, this was the first letter of our name so we decided to make it more visible. Furthermore, the colours we use have been thoughtfully chosen. The pink also known as "Razzmatazz" is used to express calmness but also to express joyfulness and creativity. Pink can also be linked to creating awareness (Think pink for Breast Cancer as an example) and that is exactly what we want to do. The yellow we use is called "Saffron". With this colour we want to express joy and happiness because who doesn't want to be happy! Yellow also stimulates people to be more energetic which leads to happiness even more. We have not included to much of it as sometimes it can be overwhelming and negative.
"Make every moment count" has a double meaning. We first and foremost mean that you should enjoy every moment and seize the opportunities that you have. Next to that we want you to make memories via our app and to celebrate them with whoever you want. Enjoy the moment you live in and make sure people around you do too. This is where the second interpretation comes from. With our aim to provide a safe space environment we want you to check on yourself but also to check on the people around you make sure they have a good time and help them out when it is needed. Sometimes, every single moment can count so be their for someone who needs help. Make sure every moment counts for them as much as it does for you. As you can see we want you to have a safe but foremost fun time. Live your live to the fullest, enjoy and be safe while doing so.
In September 2021 Mattia was finishing up his study. During this time he saw several articles about harassment. He was thinking, how can there not be any solution to mitigate these incidents or to even solve them. Eventually, he noticed there were alternatives like an “Angelshot” or “Does Angela work here”. The problem was and is that if the staff does not know this keyword or phrase that you are there on your own. He thought this was unacceptable, especially because he has a 13 year old sister that he cares about. Mattia Couldn’t imagine something happening to her if she will be going out at an older age.
Next to the harassment issues he also saw the problem of young people shifting to TikTok and away from Facebook and Instagram. His findings were accurate as Facebook ( who owns Instagram) concludes this in an internal report that they do not know what to do to convince young people to come to their platforms. Furthermore, Mattia saw that events, bars and clubs were not really posting on TikTok as this is not the focus of the platform. Next to that he searched for an interactive event platform but couldn't find one. All the platforms out there are out are very static (only displaying info without interaction). The biggest frustration was that there are already 8 festival apps in Belgium alone. These are static platforms as well and you do not need them anymore when the festival is over.
Convincing (each) other(s)
This is where both problems met. Mattia saw there was no system or tool to help individuals when getting harassed. There was also no interactive platform to discover local events and places (think: clubs, bars, etc.) with their according information. He thought, "Wouldn't it be Naise if there was a safe space app to discover local events and places?". This is where the concept of the app came from. Mattia has a finance background so he already calculated how much it would cost to outsource the building and maintenance of such a platform. He saw that it was unreachable as a student and tried to find a cofounder that could either finance it or build it with him. He first pitched his idea in Start@K, a network for students from Vives University College that want to become an entrepreneur and got in. This network also collaborates with the incubator of the University of Ghent, DO!-UGent. This is where Mattia was studying at the time and where he met his coding master brain Gabriel. This was the moment Gabriel said to Mattia "We will build it ourselves!" as he really believed in the concept.
The founders met in March of 2022 and from then on they started their journey together. They extended Mattia's previous research with and an additional one to be sure about their project and the achievability. They conducted an extra survey over the whole Flanders region and got more than 600 people to fill it in. The most important result for them was, 94,4% of the +600 people would download their app. From this point on they were almost certain that they had an interesting concept and would pursue it. Here are some other results that showed them their project was interesting:
- Average age was 24
- 86,9% wants an app to discover local events and places
- 82,7% wants a safer space when going out
- 94,4% would download out app like we present it to you
- 86,7% sees the app being used next to other socials (Fb, TikTok, etc.)
Doing the (im)possible
They pitched their idea to "Expedition DO" to see if funding and coaching was possible. Unfortunately, they were denied because the jury found that no new platform was needed for this and from there on things got serious as they still believed their platform is needed. From that moment they wanted to prove them wrong so they began to set up their company. Discussing what the app should be called, what logo would be good, the colours being used and so much more. When these things were finalised, with some minor adaptations, Mattia started calculating how much everything would cost and what they could do to attract people to download their app. Gabriel was also assisting with some financing as they were discussing about server and databases costs trying to minimize and optimize everything for scaling. Between studying and discussing about various things, they were searching for partners to help them roll out their application when ready. Their first partnership was hard to acquire as all the parties they met said the same thing, "Your project is very interesting and needed but we want to see a proof of concept. The market research you are showing is interesting but not enough for us to work together or be a test project" That was a hard pill to swallow but totally true. Eventually, they acquired their first partnership with "UitInVlaanderen". (Fact: The app was first called "Outly" a contraption of "going out" and "Safely" to set the tone of going out safely. The "LY" at the end also makes people unintentionally smile when they say it, try it yourself)
This gave them a serious boost in getting everything done as quick as possible (they found out that this was not always the best way of doing so). They started their development of the app in July 2022 to launch it in September 2022 as this was the start of the academic year in Belgium. You may know that this is a very short timeframe, or not but with a 1 man army developer team this was a hard task at hand. They were not ready with their final version of the app for the launch of the academic year, gladly this was not really an issue. They wanted to get as much individuals on their app as possible to convince events and places to join the platform. Therefore, they organised a competition with all kinds of prizes to convince individuals to add others (and getting in app coins while doing so). You may think it sounds like a pyramid scheme, it does but it isn't. Individuals did not need to invest, so no financial input was needed. They could even win prizes instead of losing something, the coins they collected by adding other individuals can be used in the future for discounts so only a win-win-win situation. During this time they got more time to develop their app, get partnerships and convince events and places to join or support the app.
Naise is live
Their tactic worked because they got new partners in their pouch. Naise now works together with Sensoa to provide tips on how to handle and prevent harassment, drugs or alcohol related situations. Throughout the app they will help you to acknowledge the risks of these products, drinks or behaviour. A very interesting collaboration to say the least. Their competition also paid off, in 4 weeks time they got over 1 000 downloads and 600+ active accounts for an app that is still almost not known and still in development! Most importantly is that the app is now live so go download it test it and let Naise know what you love or hate about it!
Not every functionality is live like they promised but they have good reasons to do so! The notification button has to be tested thoroughly before it can be used by everyone, Naise doesn't want any wrongful usage in any sort of way. Furthermore, Naise is still a one man development army so we will roll out the other promised features but we need some more time. Feel free to apply if you are interest in helping us out as we could use some help, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let's see how you can help us out!