Despite a sluggish economy, University of Miami alumnus Jason Muslin decided to take a risk and start Fanmento!™, a smartphone application.
Fanmento! allows fans to personalize their photos by adding licensed images or templates that feature university-themed logos. The photos can then be ordered for direct home delivery or same-day pickup at certain retail locations such as Walgreens.
For Muslin, Fanmento! is like having a photo booth without waiting in line and being limited to standard templates.
“It’s been done either with a photographer roaming that’s taking your picture, giving you a card, go home, look it up on the Internet, and choose to buy it or not, or by waiting in a line for a photo booth,” he said. “Now with smartphones being so readily available and all these other photography apps, it would be easy and simple.”
Fanmento! launched two weeks ago with an array of college sports templates. Muslin established partnerships with several universities, such as UM, University of Florida, University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri, University of Kansas and Texas A&M University, to garner licensing of their logos for use on the app.
“It was definitely a challenge to get licensing,” Muslin said. “These schools were forward-thinking with the technology that we were providing.”
Muslin thought of his alma mater first before considering other universities.
“The university was very open to provide this opportunity, giving their alumni a chance to be part of the family,” he said. “UM not only liked the idea but were very open to meet with me, probably because I was an alumnus.”
Fanmento! is available for free on iTunes, and Android users will be able to download the app in a couple of months. Muslin offered the app for free so users would not have to worry about paying.
“It was an easy decision,” he said. “This gains users, creates better fan engagement, and more people will Tweet about it, so more and more people will download it.”
After working in marketing and being an avid sports fan, the concept came to Muslin.
“I didn’t understand why there wasn’t something available to take my picture and make something similar to what you could get at a Six Flags or Disney World to remember yourself by to superimposing your picture,” he said. “Fanmento! makes it easier for fans to do themselves without the hassle.”
Muslin’s company developed another photo app called “Cardmento” that provides holiday-themed templates. Cardmento was intended to be a beta version of Fanmento! and ranked 89 in the photo and video section of iTunes.
Originally from Highland Park, IL, Muslin graduated from UM in 2003 with a degree in Graphic Design. This background helped him develop an app that is designed with the best user experience in mind.
“It’s a new frontier,” he said. “We’re changing the way photos are customized to place yourself in a unique environment and superimpose yourself in something cool.”
Before Fanmento!, Muslin started a graphics and web development company, AcidImaging Design Group, based in Chicago. He enjoys the challenge and pressure of being an entrepreneur and advises any students who are aspiring to start a company to never fear.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Just try it. Never be afraid to fail.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Fanmento! can be downloaded on iTunes. The photo application allows users to place templates based on the GPS location on their photos.