by Elizabeth Savin ’25
Recently, The Garage had the opportunity to speak with Yasmeena Faycurry ‘22, founder of Unfound to learn more about her journey and company.
What is Unfound in its current form?
Unfound is an app community where people share the places they love.
How has this quarter been going so far?
This quarter has been great, we have been focusing predominantly on the tech side. Since launching in March, we have acquired over 15,000 users. Additionally, we have grown our own marketing channel through Tik Tok reaching 90,000 followers. Now, the goal is to continue developing our technology to make the platform as helpful and enjoyable for users as we can.
Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to start Unfound?
I have always been very drawn to startups and the idea of starting my own company. I actually started as a student aide at The Garage! I really loved the space and the community. The summer after my freshman year, my friends and I were all at home and kept sending each other different places to try. I ended up making a group chat where we could send all of the different ideas back and forth because there were so many. From there, I created a website in order to see if other people may be interested in a platform where they could share their favorite spots.
From January to March of 2020, the website got over 8,000 visitors. Then, COVID hit. This gave my team and me time to buckle down and work on developing an app. That summer, we participated in Jumpstart, The Garage’s pre-accelerator. With the time and resources we were given, we were able to launch the beta version of our app to 100 users in the fall. The app experienced organic growth to 500 users. After that, we officially launched and we’ve been growing about 80% month over month since.
What is the biggest challenge that you and your team have faced as a company?
I think one of the biggest challenges is that we are completely bootstrapped. We don’t have the millions in funding for tech and marketing that our competitors have. We’ve had to learn how to grow our community 100% organically off the leanest version of our product.
What are you most proud of?
Personally, I am most proud of the audience we are attracting. Really cool people are joining and giving tons of amazing recommendations. I feel lucky that all these people all over the world are sharing their favorite places and I get access to it!
What has been your largest success as a company?
I think just how fast we have grown is a huge success. These past two months we have a 200% month-over-month growth rate.
What advice would you give to other students looking at entrepreneurship?
I would love to emphasize how important it is to invest in yourself when it comes to marketing.
Many companies market through influencers which can be really great because it can have a huge outreach. However, they fail to grow their own social media audience as a result and must continue relying on paid marketing to reach people. I would just say to make sure any marketing comes full circle back to you and really build your own voice. Grow your own presence on social media so you can talk directly to people. Connecting with your users directly is imperative when cultivating a brand that people strongly resonate with.
How can people get involved or learn more?
You can download our app Unfound to get involved directly! We are also on Instagram @unfound_app, and have two Tik Tok accounts, @unfound_chi and @unfound_nyc. People can also follow along at our blog. If anyone has questions they can also reach out to me over email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Savin ’25 is a Manufacturing and Design Engineering major from Wilmette, IL. She is a student aide at The Garage and is excited to become involved in the programs The Garage offers students. Her favorite thing about The Garage is that students have the opportunity to receive hands-on experience with entrepreneurship.