BFF Gemz is for girls, by girls, and will always be – though a pair of ‘boys’helped put the idea together, and bring the vision to life, eMotionally.
Co-founders of eMotion Group, Inc, Avelo Roy and Ed Suda, were undergrad students at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) when they decided to take their passion for creating meaningful relationships to the next level.
After doing some brainstorming and preliminary research, Roy and Suda noticed that visual communication dominated the online world. However, there was no depth appealing to the other senses – specifically the sense of touch, feeling, and emotional connectedness. With this preliminary concept, Roy and Suda entered their first “idea competition” at IIT in the fall of 2006, and won.
After exploring a selection of current niche markets with the help of fellow students and IIT faculty, the young business pair came up with the idea for an interactive necklace targeted toward tween girls in the United States, where friends can communicate with each other in secret through their smart necklaces.
In the following year, Roy and Suda competed in another entrepreneur challenge where the judges, who also happened to be parents, warmly took to their idea, and offered feedback on how to make the product even better—one piece of advice being the addition of a private social network element.
From here, the young moguls quickly began tearing up the business competition circuit. However, they owe all of their successes to those who truly helped conceptualize and develop their idea: over 400 girls and their incredibly cool parents.
Roy and Suda formed a tween advisory group, called Tribe Council, in order to gain regular advice as they got into the nuts and bolts behind BFF Gemz. The entrepreneurs look to these girls as their “bosses”—they truly are the voice behind the product.
BFF Gemz represents a gateway to a social networking experience, fostered by real-world relationships, for the next generation. eMotion aims to empower girls and continue to give them a voice, with the motto: “Be independent, be expressive, be you!”