Aberdeen native Will Bowen figured he would go to California to check out opportunities after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Now living in San Diego, he's the co-founder of a new social media site called Binteo. The official launch of the site will come in August.
Binteo is a social networking platform that aims to connect users with similar interests to one another.
The idea came when one of Binteo's fellow co-founders was just beginning jujitsu classes, Bowen said.
"He realized after class that there was nowhere online to connect with people who were passionate about it or to learn from instructors in different places," Bowen said.
He said that on other social networking sites, such as Facebook, users are usually telling their friends what they're doing.
What Binteo, which is in its beta phase right now, offers is live collaboration with other people.
The site beta launched in April. Right now, there is a focus on four areas of interest: photography, cooking, gardening and autism.
Everyone is welcome to the site and some professionals have been recruited to allow amateurs to get advice from experts.
"You can organize your life by things that mean something to you and find like-minded people to collaborate with," Bowen said.
He said the difference between Binteo and traditional forums is the communication technology available.
"You can do everything from voice and video and live chats in live time," Bowen said. "Users can even connect with experts and pay for a one-on-one session."
In the next month, the platform will open up to any interests that someone might have. Communities can be formed around more specific or regional interests.
The process of getting Binteo created and funded started more than two years ago, said Bowen, a 1995 graduate of Aberdeen Central High School.
"Raising money and finding who to talk to and what needed to be presented was the most daunting," Bowen said. "Even the learning curve, as far as the tech involved, and how to separate yourself from all the other noise in this huge thing called the Internet is difficult."
He has a business background and didn't set out to form a technology startup
"I just knew I wanted to go into business. I looked up to business people in Aberdeen, including the founders of Super 8," he said, referring to the motel chain that started in Aberdeen.
Bowen said there's a good stream of users joining Binteo, and those who want to check out the beta version can sign up at binteo.com.
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