The siliconmalta project, was established at the beginning of 2015, and is a joint venture between Travis Laurendine from New Orleans and two brothers Oliver and Sascha La Rosa, who are the owners of a Global IT company with its headquarters in Malta. The main aim of the initiative is to bring developers to Malta from all over the world – raising the knowledge of the country’s culture and history and making Malta the most important tech-hub in Europe.
Travis Laurendine, a serial entrepreneur and entertainment producer, Hackathon organizer and White House Champion of Change.
Attracting coders from all over the world and providing them with the expert guidance they deserve, it is designed as a development network for students, talented developers and those individuals with a love for IT who just want to learn more about this ever growing and evolving industry.
The aim is to turn their great ideas into even better realities by offering support and guidance in all the areas needed to produce something new and exciting, all in a professional learning and working environment.
Our goal is to become the most important tech-hub in Europe. This will give us the chance to promote not only our services and devotion towards talent management but also to promote Malta as a unique travel and investment region within the EU that has a diverse culture and history.
Malta not only has a rich and varied heritage, but following the Valetta Summit and the CHOGM, it has confirmed its ability to be an excellent host to the rest of the world. Valetta will be announced as the European Capital of Culture in 2018 and being an exciting tech-hub with the highest goals and newest technologies, we are going to make Malta the technology capital of Europe.
siliconmalta was present at the Web Summit in Ireland in November 2015 with the Feelings app, our first project to be presented to the world, and will also be featured at the Collision Conference, New Orleans in April 2016.
THE FEELINGS APP
Feelings is an anonymous ‘Instagram’ for expressing your emotions.
What is Feelings?
It’s an entirely anonymous social media app!
Feelings is a place where you can express how you feel at any moment in time using both pictures and text, whilst remaining entirely anonymous. You can post both positive and negative feelings and get responses to them from other members.
How the project unfolded
The idea came when the app’s developer, Johann Vassallo, received some life changing news that was not for sharing. It evoked an enormous feeling of excitement within him, but it had to be kept secret. He had no-where to express his feelings, nowhere, that is, that wouldn’t let everyone know his personal business as it wasn’t anonymous!
So, that’s how the blueprint for ‘Feelings’ was born!
After working hard on it with colleagues Ngoc and Ivan, it was finally ready for the public. It was launched on Google Play in May 2015 with no PR or Marketing and in just a few months it has gained almost 400 active members and is still growing.
The Feelings team recently attended the ALPHA program at the Web Summit in Dublin, and received great feedback on this exciting new social network. Web Summit is the biggest tech conference on the planet and Feelings was there!
Why the world needs Feelings
Sometimes, things we need and want to keep secret evoke feelings in us and it can be very frustrating not having an outlet for it, without there being consequences.
Life is about feelings – what we feel drives us, in every aspect of our lives!
More than just social media…..
Feelings can be the first step in reaching out, for those among us who are struggling on a day to day basis. If you’re feeling weak, lonely, troubled, depressed or unloved, the app gives you the opportunity to anonymously share your story – often just sharing what you feel is enough to make us feel better about our situation. It can be the push you need to start on the road to recovery or to actually ask for help!
It’s also a way to see that there are other people who are just as vulnerable as you and that you’re not abnormal. Getting praise and encouragement from an unknown source is a great way to boost confidence and make you feel better about things.
You can express your anger, voice your opinion and have that needed outburst or rant. Did you do something you regret and find it hard to admit you’re wrong or say sorry? Feelings allows you to acknowledge you’re at fault and start to take responsibility for your actions.
It’s literally a way of ‘getting things off your chest’ but without the consequences!
How Feelings works
Once the feelings app has been downloaded and you have registered as a user, you are ready to make your first post!
You can choose the emotion closest to how you feel, add text and /or photos and use filters to enhance your ‘Feeling’.
And then post! It’s as simple as that! You can like other people’s posts and comment on them with pictures or text, choose avatars that represent you and have as much anonymous fun as you like, as long as you don’t break the rules!
There are lots of different avatars available, along with quotes from famous people and many other features we want to add in the future. The more posts and comments you make, the more features you will unlock and be able to use.
Feelings has its very own goal!
The goal of sharing our feelings! It can calculate how users are feeling around you and eventually, around the whole world.
The aim of Feelings is to reflect the pulse of the world and this will be tested with any huge world events or situations that arise and generate a lot of public interest.
The Feelings Graph
The graph shows an evaluation of all the feelings being posted by our users at any one given time.
The generated graph shows us how our users are feeling. If a world event takes place it will show the effect it has on Feelings’ members. In the future we want to show geographical information as well, which will reflect the different feelings people have around the globe.
Feelings as a Corporate Package
A corporate version of Feelings is being developed to enable businesses to monitor their employees ‘Feelings’ and improve on their productivity.
As a business owner, do you know how your employees feel?
If a workforce is unhappy they are less productive. So, wouldn’t it be better if you knew there was an issue, so you could try to fix it?
Can disengaged employees hurt your company’s bottom line? Yes – and the proof is in the numbers.
While it’s a no-brainer that employee workplace happiness can impact everything from your company culture to overall productivity, many still don’t realise exactly how much unhappy employees can impact on every aspect of your business.
Based on research, engaged, happy employees perform the following way:
31% higher production rates
37% higher sales
3 times higher creativity
Perform 20% better than their disengaged counterparts
Produce 19.2% improvement in operating income
87% are less likely to leave their job
Feelings Corporate’ is a company specific (made to each companies requirements) product.
It lets your employees anonymously post their ‘feelings’ using pictures and texts. All you will know, as an employer, is which department those feelings are coming from – ie; sales, marketing, production, and manufacturing. So then you can try to combat any bad feelings and capitalise on your workforces capabilities.
It is also important to frequently recognise employees for their accomplishments as 69% of them state that if their work is appreciated, they do a much better job.
Giving your employees a ‘voice’ without any consequences could be the turning point your company needs!
The team has developed Feelings as far as their resources will allow, spending countless hours with the App’s prototypes, polishing the interface and refining the design.
The app remains in its infant stage on the programming level and the application is only currently available on android devices. We need your support to be able to finish the development of Feelings on all platforms and to acquire better server coverage.
We have lots of plans for expansion possibilities, and we feel Zaar is the perfect platform to enable us to realise the full potential of Feelings.
Together we can make Feelings a more exciting reality!
Where the money will go
€20,000 – this will enable us to finish the iOS version of Feelings and further develop the corporate package prototype
€30,000 – Within 6 months; finish the iOS and Windows versions of Feelings, complete the first corporate package prototypes and extend our servers to the US.
€50,000 – Within 12 months; access to worldwide servers and finish the Feelings “How Happy is the World?” graph – enabling it to analyse the worldwide data. It would also enable the corporate package to be completed ready for marketing
€100,000 – will allow us to provide support and administration for Feelings and Feelings corporate until December 2017 and successfully market them to a wider audience.
Pledge €5 – BASIC
Thank you for your pledge – you have just helped the Feelings goal! You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section
Pledge €10 – BASIC PLUS
You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself!
Pledge €25 – BRONZE
Limited reward (500)
You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself! Plus, you will receive a Feelings PEN
Pledge €49 – SILVER
Limited reward (200) You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself! Plus, you will receive a Feelings PEN & MOBILE CLEANER/HOLDER
Pledge €99 – GOLD
Limited reward (100) You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself! Plus, you will receive a Feelings Mug
Pledge €149 – PLATINUM
Limited reward (50) You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself! Plus, you will receive a FEELINGS T-Shirt
Pledge €500 – PLATINUM PLUS
Limited reward (10) You will receive Feelings news updates via email & your name will be on the Feelings website in our backers section. You will also receive a ‘Thank You’ post on our Facebook page and on the App itself! Plus, you can meet the Feelings team and receive a voucher for €750 towards the Feelings Corporate package for your business.
The Feelings Team
Johann Vassallo is the developer behind Feelings who is born and bred in Malta. After crashing a computer game at the age of 8 and seeing coding for the very first time really sparked Johann’s quest to arrive at where he is today. In the 80’s the internet was unheard of so he reverse engineered the code to start to understand how it worked, making some little games as he gained confidence. Over the next few years he began working in computer shops and did whatever he could to build his knowledge. At the age of 24 he was employed as a system administrator and built 10 applications for the company – most of which are still being used today!
Since hitting his thirties, he decided to focus mainly on coding – his real love and true passion lies in programming. The skills he has acquired along the way have enabled him to write code for android, iOS, Windows phones, tablets and Web Apps running from Browsers and Desktop Apps. Johann lives for the code and has many other ideas besides Feelings – he truly is a gem at siliconmalta!
Ngoc is an experienced marketer and designer who completed the outlook of Feelings. Using Adobe products to design the graphics on Feelings, she is a master in her field, having worked in Vietnam, Finland and now in Malta.
Ivan is a multi-platform Junior Developer with a background in sound engineering in Spain. He was responsible for building the application that controls ‘Feelings’ users and allows the security and administration to be maintained.
Michelle had many years’ experience working in PR in the UK before coming to Malta. She has been the driving force behind the promotion of Feelings and also the Zaar campaign.
An accomplished Business Developer in the USA, Hungary and now Malta, Ityu has been working hard to develop Feelings into an exciting business opportunity for investors.