21-year-old Sebastian Colon, a cryptologic technician for the United States Navy, has created a web app to better connect smaller content creators to the community around them — and give them a fairer shot at reaching their target audience.
Colon built the beta for Runiuni, a social media web app that breaks up content by geography and locations hubs, over the last 12 months. The app’s region levels break down areas by country, state, metro area and city. Colon used the Django Python web framework, an open-source tool for web app development, to build his minimum viable product. He is now part of the Emerging Technology Center‘s IncubateBaltimore program, where he’s learning to grow his company (and Runiuni’s parent) Our Communities United. The experience has already allowed him to interact with people at TEDCO, the state-created arm for tech investment, he said.
“Being a part of the incubator has helped me find more structure and network,” Colon, who built his development skills through courses via Udemy and Florida State College at Jacksonville, told Technical.ly. “It’s been crazy to see that what I’ve been building for a year is actually coming to fruition.”
This vision of a social media app for smaller content creators has been in Colon’s head since he was 17, when he was producing music and living in a small Florida town. Even creating the web app site for Runiuni’s beta offered a chance to test his website development skills. Given the opportunity to create something akin to Craigslist for his father’s construction jobs, Colon decided to kill two birds with one stone and prototype his dream app at the same time.
Colon emphasized that he’s building his app to focus on regions and not any specific market.
“Anything you could want to find in a region, [a place to find it] is what I’m trying to build,” he said.
Check out a video outlining the web app’s features, which include job postings and community polls.Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
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