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TechCrunch, Forbes, Dallas Innovates Cover Innovative App Built By UT Dallas CS Students

Via Dallas Innovates by Nicholas Sakelaris

Whether it’s buying a rare comic, connecting with fellow comic fans or finding out about nearby events, nerds have a new online hangout called Cosmunity that just hit the app stores today.

Developed in Dallas by former University of Texas at Dallas students, the app fills a void in the nerd world.

“There was no centralized platform for all the experiences that one would have at the convention,” said Zac Cooner, COO and co-founder of Cosmunity Inc. said. “The whole pop culture universe has exploded and it’s driven by the strength of the community. We really put all of those experiences onto one platform.” 16 APP STORE A - ANDROID

The free app launched on Android, iOS, and web with four main features: a social feed with people you follow, a popular feed with what’s trending, an online marketplace, and an event section. 

Cooner had a full scholarship at UTD but put that on hold to focus on Cosmunity. He teamed up with co-founders Cole Egger, CEO, and Chance Hudson, CTO. 

They’ve been working on this for about six months, burning the midnight oil to get the app launched on three platforms simultaneously. 

“Let’s face it — we all have an inner geek and are fans of something,” Egger said. “So why isn’t there a place where the community can all connect with like-minded individuals.” 

To generate buzz for the launch, Cosmunity is offering $1,000 and two free tickets to any convention. To enter, users need to share a Cosmunity post on an external social network with the #Cosmunity tag. 16 APP STORE B - ANDROID

“We’re connecting the community 24/7/365 so you don’t have to be at a convention to be with your friends who also go there,” Cooner said. 

SOCIAL FEED

The social feed allows people to follow their friends, tag people and keep up with the news they are interested in. 

Topics include video games, movies, cosplay, celebrities, and friends. Users can build their own following. 

The trending section features the most popular topics and threads from the day. 

With a new blockbuster film coming out almost every month, there’s no shortage of nerdy things to talk about. 

MARKETPLACE

16 APP STORE C - ANDROIThe marketplace features comics, artwork, props, jewelry, full cosplay costumes and collectibles for sale by local shops and individuals. 

Cosmunity has items ranging from $5 all the way up to ultra rare comics selling for $38,000.

The marketplace uses PayPal and AfterShip to ensure secure payment and shipping. 

Metropolis Comics partnered with Cosmunity so it can sell items on the marketplace. 

“We love Cosmunity because it’s easy to use and provides a terrific marketplace for us to list our collectibles for sale,” Brandon Pierce Peck, internet sales director for Metropolis Comics. “There’s no other place where fans can gather online to interact, trade collectibles, and pretty much just geek out. It’s basically Comic Con in the palm of your hand.” 

EVENTS16 APP STORE D - ANDROID

While Cosmunity gives comic fans their own cyber community, there’s no substitute for meeting in person. That’s what the events tab does. 

The app uses geolocation to find events that are going nearby so users can easily find Comic Cons, Anime Expos or other things of interest. People can even do meet ups for cosplay. 

More than 900 events are listed nationwide at launch and that’s expected to grow fast. 

FUNDING SOURCES

So far, Cosmunity has raised $300,000 from investors mostly outside of Texas. They’ve traveled to both coasts and to Louisiana to get funding.

Egger said he wishes there was more funding available here. 16 APP STORE E - ANDROID

“There are a lot of people who aren’t aware of the big tech community Dallas has grown to be,” Egger said. “There’s a lot of money in Dallas but it hasn’t moved into the tech startup scene.” 


UP NEXT

The next step is to seek Series A funding. 

Cosmunity will be free to use for at least the first year, but there are plans to monetize it in the future, Egger said.

“For us, it’s about bringing on users,” he said. 

Future features could include hotel arrangements for Comic Cons, exclusive deals for content creators and sponsorship opportunities.

Source | Dallas Innovates


Cosmunity brings the geek convention experience online

Via TechCrunch Article written by  

– Cosmunity is a new social network for people who want to keep the experience of Comic Con (or another geek event of your choosing) going all year long.

Co-founder and CEO Cole Egger recalled attending a Dallas Comic Con (now known as Fan Expo Dallas) and being “blown away by the size.” However, he found fans who were “frustrated” by the difficulty of staying connected after the event. And similarly, vendors were looking for a way to “sell products directly to their target audience.”

So commerce is a big piece of Cosmunity. It’s also the main way the company plans to make money, although it’s waiving transaction fees for the rest of the year. Retailers can create profiles on the service and sell props, costumes, comic books, artwork and more. Sure, you might be able to buy many of these products elsewhere on the Internet, but Egger said the difference is that Cosmunity will be “exclusively geek.”

While Egger emphasized that Cosmunity is a peer-to-peer marketplace — which means the company isn’t vetting all the retailers — he said the team will do its best to verify retailers who are selling licensed products and to remove fraudulent accounts.

Co-founder and COO Zac Cooner said one of the other big goals is to make people comfortable with “expressing their true selves” — maybe by sharing that costume photo you’re too embarrassed to post on Facebook. So there’s a newsfeed combining social updates, product listings, event info and other geek content.

 


Cosmunity Wants To Be Your Full-Time Digital Comic Con

Via Forbes – Article written by Lauren Orsini

Starting today, Chen can interact with his niche on Cosmunity, an iOS and Android app that provides a community and marketplace for one specific group of people: geeks. It’s proving essential for somebody like Chen, who appears as a special guest at more than 100 comic conventions in the past three years, including New York Comic Con. 

“With so many conventions going on now and so many events, I need to be extremely active online to let people know where I will be,” Chen told me in an email. “Cosmunity will not only help me to do that but it will allow me to target people who live in my world of comics, pop culture and cons. My ‘con family’ if you will.”

Cosmunity includes several features that echo behaviors you’ll find on other social network and marketplace apps. There’s peer-to-peer selling, like on eBay or Etsy. There’s a stream of popular photos from influencers, like on Instagram. There’s a feature that allows you to mark yourself as attending a fan event, and see which of your friends are going, too, just like on Facebook. So why would fans use these features on Cosmunity instead of on the social networks they’re already on? Cosmunity founder Cole Egger believes in the power of niche.

ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,100 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 MS master’s students, 150 PhD students, and 86 faculty members, as of Fall 2016. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

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