BELOIT — After growing up together in Beloit, childhood friends Tim Champion, Jerrick Hakim and Matt Nemetz have drawn on their own unique strengths to launch a combined business venture.
Boppr, a modern digital business card and social networking tool, launched on Aug. 2. Nemetz said the timing has been perfect given the recent opening of the new Beloit Snappers stadium and downtown revitalization, which have drawn all sorts of people together to meet and socialize.
“Nothing should stand in the way of instantly connecting people,” Nemetz said. “There has almost never been a better time to implement a networking tool like Boppr, and Beloit is the perfect city to launch in.”
Each of the three Beloit natives brings their own skill sets to the table. Nemetz runs his business, FocalFuse, while Hakim has a background in web development and Champion has experience with marketing and communication.
The name “Boppr,” came about through a process of elimination after brainstorming all sorts of possible business names, Hakim said.
They wanted to come up with a name that was catchy, to the point and could symbolize an action. For example, the company refers to networking as “bopping,” partly because users can tap the backs of their cell phones together to wirelessly connect and share contact information.
Hakin noted that each user has full control over what information they wish to share with others. Users can share any or all of their links to social profiles on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn.
Users can also designate specific “wallets” on the app to share certain apps geared more towards business or social media, depending on who they are networking with.
Hakim added that the app also allows users to split the cost of a bill at a restaurant with their friends through third party services like Cash App.
Boppr comes in a few different styles, with keychains, drink coasters or tags that attach to the back of a cell phone. Users can also download the app for free on the Apple or Android stores using any smartphone with internet access.
Nemetz said one of their goals is to continue networking with bars and restaurants in and around Beloit to introduce the Boppr drink coasters, which also allow customers to take a photo and access digital menus touch-free.
Additionally, users can share links to music, business websites or transfer files including photo and video. Nemetz said family members on vacation, for example, could use the app to share memories directly without skipping a beat.
In recent weeks since launching the company, Hakim said their team has been consistently working on updates to make the user experience as seamless as possible. Feedback they’ve received along the way has also helped to identify and fix bugs.