EM has moved! Our office is now in HB-108, between Theil Hall and the Tinbergen building. To introduce our new place, we invite everyone to pitch their story on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll immediately make a piece out of it.

Last August, when Ulisses first came to Rotterdam, he noticed that people tended to share practical matters on local Facebook groups, like bicycle or house advertisements. “That’s obviously useful,” he says. “But I missed the human contact.” He wanted to get to know people, but didn’t know how. He eventually posted a message on a Facebook group. “I wrote about myself, where I come from, my background and that I was looking to meet people.” The post received more than a hundred responses and, not only that, he was approached by the founders of the start-up.

New app

“When the founders of Swabit told me about the app, I was immediately sold,” says Ulisses. “Swabit is a proximity-based app, meaning that your post can only be viewed by people within a 200-metre radius. “You can share anything: a picture of a great sandwich you just bought at the next door store, a funny quote, an invitation to sport or learn a language together.” The app makes it easier to connect with your surroundings, because you can respond immediately to the post or make contact with other users in the area. “This app would be particularly useful for international students, because – like me – they sometimes want to make contact but they don’t know exactly how.”

The app is still under development but it already has more than 500 users. “We also have a group of brand ambassadors,” adds Ulisses. At the moment, it consists of fifteen EUR students who voluntarily test the app. “They give us feedback on whether something works well or needs to be changed.” And if you’re interested in participating? Ulisses: “Just contact me on 06-12706164.”