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George Santoire ’17: One of the Founders of Inky Community

Ever thought about sharing your writing online? Been seeing a lot of poetry on Instagram? Meet George Santoire, one of the creators behind Siena’s new startup, Inky Community, geared specifically toward writers!

Name: George Santoire

Year: Senior/Class of 2017

Majors: Psychology

Minors: Entrepreneurship/Writing and Communications/Philosophy

 

Her Campus at Siena: What is Inky Community?

George Santoire: Inky Community is a social media platform for writers. But really it’s more a platform where specifically poets and flash fiction writers can go on and post to a platform in a way that’s safe for writers. We’re getting rid of a lof of the social clout that comes along with other platforms. For example, with Instagram you want to keep your ratio, get as many likes as you can – we want to be able to track quality without all that. With Inky, the focus is on the quality of the content rather than getting material out there for the likes. It’s a platform that is text only, which is different from pretty much anything out there. We want to bring the focus back to text, which just doesn’t exist right now.

HCS: How did you and your partners come up with the idea for this app?

GS: Originally we started last semester. Me, Simon Bruno, and Mikayla Lansing. We started in one of the entrepreneurship classes. Orignally we had an idea for a dating app that would connect people based on location. Then it evolved from there to be more of a social connection. I think Simon came up more with the direction for Inky. His story behind it is that he knew someone that was writing short fiction and she wasn’t posting it anywhere because she was afraid of what other people would think. The original idea was really to get rid of social clou and create a safe space for writers to post things. Inky has just developed from that.”

HCS: What role do you play in Inky’s development?

GS: There are five of us right now – the original three and two computer science majors now who handle all the complicated things. I’ve done some marketing work – we’re on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I’ve done some of the operations work. I’ve done a lot of reaching out to different organizations on campus – Her Campus at Siena, Pendragon, and different professors to promote our contest right now. With the original three we tailor roles as we go. We find what we’re good at and stick to that.

HCS: How has Siena given you the support to be able to pursue this endeavor?

GS: “A lot of support has come through the STACK center. The entrepreneurship program at Siena is booming right now, it grows more every year. The connections they have are great. If you have an idea you can talk Dr. Cusack and he can try and connect you with people who have graduated from Siena or run their own companies. The Wall of Success is a wall in the STACK center that has a bunch of companies that have some connection to Siena. They have entrepreneurs in residence who are  willing to give their time for free to help guide students. The real value is in Siena’s alumni network – they know everyone. It’s crazy that this stuff happens on campus. I mean, it’s just good ‘ol Siena, you know?”

HCS: Who is the ideal Inky Community user?

GS: “That person who is the introverted writer who doesn’t post a lot because they are afraid of judgement and all that. Our goal is to make them feel comfortable enough so they’ll post on our platform and start sharing their work with the world. Recently, we’ve found that there are a lot of people on Instagram posting poems, and it’s weird because Instagram is for pictures. They’re getting popular off that but our platform will be specifically designed for sharing text, and have features that will help their writing grow.”

HCS: How do you see Inky Community growing in the future?

GS: “We’re hoping to have it built and done in Beta form by May. Eventually we see ourselves expanding to longer text.”

HCS: Your app will be released in beta form soon. Are you running anything special promotions before launch? How can people stay up to date with Inky Community?

GS: “Right now, we’re running a poetry competition. You can submit up to 3 poems on our website: www.inkylaunch.com. First place wins a $50 cash prize, while second and third get a prize pack. If you don’t have any poems to submit, or poetry isn’t your thing but you still want to stay up to date with us, head to our launch site too and sign up for updates. You’ll get to be one of the first to use our Beta version!”

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Susana is co-CC for the Her Campus at Siena chapter. She is a senior English major from Westchester, NY.  Her love of languages and wriitng led her to declare a double minor in Italian and Writing and Communications. Post-grad Susana plans on pursuing a career in TESOL teaching and eventually returning to the TESOL publsihing field after an internship with Oxford University Press.  She enjoys traveling, hiking, live concerts, and foodie adventures.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @susana0hria.
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