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Capstory Snares $100K

CINCINNATI, OH, Web application that allows friends to aggregate mobile-generated photos and text messages from multiple users into private "capsules" outside of social media, has launched with a $100,000 investment from CincyTech.
Capstory, a web application that allows friends to aggregate mobile-generated photos and text messages from multiple users into private "capsules" outside of social media, has launched with a $100,000 investment from CincyTech.

The investment is part of a larger seed-stage investment round that will be used to finish the user interface, complete the mobile version and increase beta users through roll-outs at college campuses.

Capstory operates as an enhanced shared photo album. It allows one friend to set up an easy-to-use online interface called a capsule. From this, that user sends invites to friends by text message or via email, inviting them to contribute photos and text messages to the capsule. The group of friends submits its photos and memorable quotes through text message to a number assigned by Capstory, allowing anyone with SMS to use their platform.

Users who have access to the capsule can comment on each other's pictures and memories -- and if they choose, easily push chosen content to Facebook. However, if friends decide a weekend or event is out of context or inappropriate for everyone to view, they can keep the capsule private on Capstory.

Capstory works like a group page on Facebook, where a number of people can contribute content. However, Capstory focuses on built-in privacy, instant sharing from mobile via SMS and displaying content more cleanly with a focus on photos and quotes.

Sharing in small groups instead of hundreds of friends allows people to be themselves and share content they would otherwise be unable to share more publicly. The end result is a story illustrated through text and photos from multiple perspectives external to traditional social media sites and Google searches.

The company was founded by two college friends who met as randomly assigned roommates in the Honors program at The Ohio State University. Suprasanna Mishra and Dustin Studer are both Ohio natives with a passion for technology and entrepreneurship.

"We took an impromptu trip to visit friends at Stanford one weekend and were meeting so many people and doing so many awesome things that we wanted to remember but would have been out of context and not appropriate to share with the hundreds of people we're connected to on Twitter and Facebook," said Mishra.

"We'd always been told not to post anything incriminating on our social media pages, but we wanted to be able to remember our inside jokes and pictures from the trip; so we decided we would create a private place for friends to collect and share memories."

Mishra founded Kite5 -- a website design company -- in 2008 when he was still in high school and was the recipient of the Cincinnati Innovates award in 2010 for his concert-centric web application, Stageshark. At Ohio State, he is studying neuroscience and entrepreneurship. Mishra was 19 when the CincyTech investment closed, making him the youngest entrepreneur in the CincyTech portfolio.

Studer started his first business in 2007 while he was in high school, a landscaping and lawn care company. He is studying biomedical engineering at Ohio State.

Capstory's initial market focus will be college students, ages 18-24, who are natives of social and photo sharing sites, go out with friends on weekends but are trying to maintain a professional outward appearance as they search for their first job.

"There are other companies trying to do what Capstory is building, but the company's emphasis on telling a story and its simple mobility are what set it apart from its competitors," said Justin Thompson, senior analyst at CincyTech.

About Capstory
Capstory is a web application that allows groups to aggregate mobile generated photos and text messages into a centralized dashboard called a capsule. Capsules can be external to social networking websites but can also push approved content into them quickly and easily. The startup is a Mason, Ohio, based LLC founded by Suprasanna Mishra and Dustin Studer in 2011.

About CincyTech
CincyTech is a public-private venture development organization that invests in startup businesses in high-tech industries in Southwest Ohio. With substantial support from Ohio Third Frontier and corporations, foundations, civic organizations and individuals here, it is stimulating the growth of venture-worthy companies in information technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.
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