Pep Gomez is a young Spanish entrepreneur from Madrid, now based in New York City. At the age of 21, he embarked on a journey to change the way people discover entertainment around the world through his app, Fever. Fever calls itself a “personal concierge right in the palm of your hand.” The app gives users a curated list of events happening in their city, tailored to their preferences and usage while also taking into account which events friends recommend. Gomez may be young, but he is not new to the entrepreneurial world – having already launched several apps before Fever – and has gained the attention of big name investors such as Jeff Pulver (early investor in Twitter and Foursquare) and Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid.
Was creating an app always a goal of yours, or did you stumble upon the idea for Fever?
I always like to entertain ideas and I like to solve problems. I thought of this idea when I was living in San Francisco – I thought, “I have some time. I want to do something, but what can I do?” Unfortunately, there wasn’t a platform already available to change the way people discover entertainment and help them decide what to do in their city. The problem is based on both what’s going on in the city and the fact that people give up when they have too many options. I decided to solve this problem. I think that nowadays apps are the way that people make up their mind. So now people can decide their plans on-the-go with Fever.
There are plenty of event-based apps out there, how does Fever stand out from the crowd?
The problem is not about what’s going on the on the content side, it’s more about the social element. There are many products out there, but they don’t solve this problem. I would say there are three really important things that make Fever different:
- You don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many options – Fever doesn’t do that.
- The social element matters a lot and we add that by showing you which of your friends are going to different events.
- We don’t take just the social data, but also we use data that automatically reads the behavior of users on the app. So let’s say you go to a lot of fashion events but you never click on sports events, Fever will show you more fashion events and other events based on your activity.
Big name investors as well as celebrities, like Jeff Pulver and Sergio Ramos, have invested in Fever. As a young startup, how is Fever gaining more attention with these investors?
The most important thing in a company is to be focused on what you want to do; this is not something that we created all of a sudden, it’s something we’ve been working on for the last few years. I think determination is really important and being persistent is really important so you can achieve your goals. That’s why they [Ramos and Pulver] decided to invest in us, because they understood that we were going to be consistent and focused on what we want to do.
You have recently moved operations to NYC. Why did you choose New York?
We opened in New York about seven months ago and it’s actually become our headquarters now. We decided to set up in New York after we were awarded a place as a New York Venture Fellow by the New York City Economic Development Corporation under Mayor Bloomberg. New York is where you want to be, especially working in the entertainment industry. We received a lot of help through the NYCEDC and New York Venture Fellows for development.
How would you compare running a business in Madrid to running a business in NYC?
New York is a bigger market, more aggressive, more time consuming; Madrid is maybe not easier, but more comfortable, it’s my culture. But I wanted to make something that was in New York, it’s more global than Madrid.
Where do you hope to expand to next?
We are working on opening Fever in San Francisco, Barcelona, and Los Angeles. In fact, we are opening in Barcelona in the next few weeks. We aim to help change the way people discover entertainment globally.
What advice would you give to European startups to stay competitive in today’s global world?
I would say they need to think globally and get good advice from internationals living all over in order to launch a truly global product. Don’t be afraid of traveling; nowadays it’s rather cheap to travel.
What is your favorite part about working and living in New York?
I love New York. I love the combination of all the elements, like fashion and entertainment, together with tech. It’s great.
On your phone right now, what are your five favorite apps to use?
Mailbox is a great for inbox management; Uber, because it’s now cheaper than hailing a cab; Loungebuddy, which is indispensable for travelling; Washio because you never know how many more days you will stay in a city; Zula an app from our investor Jeff Pulver for team communications; and Sunrise, the best calendar ever!
For more information on experiencing Fever, please visit http://www.feverup.com/.