Made in Tribeca: A local app for local connections

Tribecan Ross Baltimore and his business partner Anastasiya Shekhtman are developing an app that will connect strangers not over romance or hookups, but shared interests — and with a geographic focus, such as tennis in Tribeca. Say you’ve got a court time at the Washington Market Park, but your partner bailed. You can log on to the app and see who’s nearby who wants to swat at some balls with you for an hour (or at least that’s how it makes sense to me). It’s called More, and Anastasiya summed it up as the platonic Tinder. The idea is to make the city a little less anonymous.

“That’s the funny thing about New York — you’re constantly surrounded by people, but you can’t easily connect with strangers. And even if you know a lot of people, everyone is so busy,” says Anastasiya. “You make plans and 65 percent of them fall through, well, at least for me.”

The app will work anywhere, but when a user opens it in Tribeca, they’re seeing only Tribeca experiences suggested with other people also in Tribeca. A user can post a suggestion — such as ‘visit a couple galleries,’ or ‘go to Maman for coffee,’ or ‘have a glass of wine at City Vineyard’ — and it will remain live for 60 minutes. There’s no chat function, no back and forth — just the plan, now set in motion. But the app does help with ideas, by filtering with categories such as foodie, boozy, intellectual or creative. The other angle is the match is intended to be based on a commonality and less about what the user looks like. (Good intent; possible in reality??)

More has been in a private beta (sort of “stealth mode”) for the past few months, and the two have given it nine months of full-time labor out of their office: the lobby of The Roxy. It will be available on the Apple App Store in a few weeks, and they are planning a launch event then in Williamsburg with small businesses joining in and offering experiences in the neighborhood. And of course, they are fundraising. Which maybe they can do through the app! The app has already done its job, at least for these two.

“I have to mention how awesome our early users have been. I’ve lived in Tribeca for six years and I think I’ve met more Tribecans in the last three months,” said Ross.