April 01, 2017
As a newly minted college graduate, Phil DiMuro ’12 spent his time away from the office doing what most young grads do—socializing.
“We were 21, recently out of college, had a little bit of money and wanted to be social,” DiMuro said of himself and classmate Dave Phelan, who at the time was working at LVR, Inc., in Allentown, Pa. “But when it came to knowing what was going on, we were limited, just going to the same locations.”
With his finger already on the pulse of the bar and restaurant business through his job in sales for the Samuel Adams Brewing Company, DiMuro began to use his off-time for something else—creating a mobile application that helps would-be customers explore their social scene.
Loople (a play on being “in the loop” and Google) is a city-specific, crowd-sourced app that tracks food and drink specials, happy hours, live music and more in real time.
Not trained as developers, DiMuro and Phelan, both business administration majors, relied on mentors they met along their brief professional journeys to help develop the app.
“Each person you meet helps you get a little bit further along on the right path,” DiMuro said. “It was extremely difficult in the early stages. We had no idea how to build such a product and we really relied on those mentors early on.”
After the app officially launched in June 2015 in Baltimore, DiMuro and Phelan left their jobs to work full time as Loople’s chief executive officer and chief marketing officer, respectively.
Since its launch, Loople has been downloaded more than 25,000 times and has expanded into the Washington, D.C., and Annapolis markets. The company has also grown to include three additional full-time employees and several interns.
The entrepreneurs have shared their experience with aspiring business students through Susquehanna’s Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship (LIFE) summer program, which introduces high school students to finance, banking, stock and bond markets, sales, advertising and global trade concepts.
“We want to pay it forward to other people who are interested in doing what we’re doing,” Phelan said.