One Card Game + One Card Game= One New App

It’s the weekend and you and your roommates are not really in the mood to head into Boston or go Mod hopping. Someone suggests playing a board game and the room is split between people who do not mind playing Apples to Apples for the five hundredth time and Cards Against Humanity diehards. Lucky for you, there is now a compromise for this disagreement.

Last month, Northeastern University alumnus Charles Svirk and his best friend Matthew Valich, an Emerson College graduate, launched a new App called Photos to Photos. This fusion of two popular card games was released with the warning, “If Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity had a baby, this would be their wild child.” Svirk enjoyed playing these games in his undergraduate years and wondered, as many others may have, why there was not a mobile option available. With a strong background in business from Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKin School of Business, Svirk teamed up with Valich to create the latest mobile game.

Photos to Photos is a free, social game of photo comparisons that you play on your smartphone. Three to five people can play the game at a time, provided everyone’s phone battery is full of juice. Similar to Apples to Apples, players are given an adjective prompt, such as “pure” or “extreme”, which they try to describe with a photo. Like Cards Against Humanity, the game is for more mature players due to its sometimes crude sense of humor.

Screenshot / Victoria Palmer

Screenshot / Victoria Palmer

 

In response to the adjective prompt, players can use photos from their smartphone gallery or from the library of photos available on the app. The play rotates each round so that each player gets a chance to be the judge and choose the winning photo. The first player to win three rounds wins the game and earns virtual coins as a reward.

Svirk and Valich used their savings to build a prototype of the app and applied to Northeastern’s IDEA. IDEA, a student-run venture accelerator, provided their team with gap funding and has been an invaluable resource and source of support to Photos to Photos initial success. “The best thing…is that IDEA doesn’t want anything from you but to be your friend,” said Svirk. “There are no ulterior motives but to help you be successful.” Photos to Photos also received a seed investment from businessmen Alec E. Gores and Eric Harnish.

The business partners fuel their funds through a partnership with MediaSpike, Inc., a company backed by Google Ventures that “uses ‘native monetization’ to place product advertisement through apps.” Though ads appear in the app for financial purposes, Svirk and Valich assure players that the advertisements will not interfere with gameplay. “The ads will never pop up on you, and you’re never going to accidentally click on an ad and be redirected outside of the app,” Svirk explained.

It may seem crazy to think that a successful entrepreneurial idea could be birthed from hours of playing games that you enjoyed in your childhood, but Svirk and Valich did not hesitate to take their “aha” moment and run with it.

So, next time everyone is hanging out in your room and the Apples to Apples vs. Cards Against Humanity debate arises, give Photos to Photos a try. Who knows, you could come up with the next app.

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