Invisible Girlfriend: New St. Louis Tech Startup Promises Believable Fake Love

Categories: Bidness

invisgf2.jpg
Courtesy of Megan Weaver
It's an "invisible" girlfriend. Get it?
Ever wish you could have all the benefits of dating without actually speaking to another person? Want to show off to your friends and family without going to any effort? Do you have more money than social skills?

There's an app for that.

Invisible Girlfriend, designed to provide credible-though-fake social proof of a girlfriend, was the big winner at Startup Weekend St. Louis on Sunday, where entrepreneurs and tech geeks brainstorm big ideas for online startups and vote for their favorites.

matthoman.jpg
via
Matt Homann
The site's prototype includes three pricing plans: "Just Talking" for $9.99 per month, "Getting Serious" for $29.99 per month and "Almost Engaged" for a whopping $49.99 per month. The most expensive package includes SMS texts from a robot, an emergency interaction button, random gifts and notes sent to home or work, real voicemails, a coupled relationship status on Facebook and live phone calls.

"We're not trying to build a girlfriend they can believe in -- that's a whole other level of technology," says creator Matt Homann. "We're giving them a better story to tell, even if the story isn't true."

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Invisible Girlfriend
Homann bought the domain InvisibleGirlfriend.com more than three years ago. He calls it a "drunk domain," one you buy on a whim at 3 a.m. because it only costs $7 and forget about in the morning.

"I haven't done a single thing with it except share stories about how dumb the domain is," Homann says. "At the last minute, I thought, 'I'll pitch Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend, if not just for a laugh.'"

The idea got more than a laugh. Homann soon found himself with four professional developers, two designers and a handful of business and social-media experts ready and willing to turn his idea into a product.

"It went from, 'Let's have some fun. Let's make everyone laugh,' to, 'We have the making and talent to build something that works,'" Homann says.

invisgf1.jpg
Megan Weaver
The Invisible Girlfriend team celebrates their win.
The team wants to build Invisible Boyfriend, too, and Homann says both sites will be LGBT friendly.

As the winners from this weekend's startup frenzy, the team won $3,000 -- not what Homann calls "real money," but a small acknowledgment.

"These things are all done on a shoestring," Homann says. "We've got a lot of work to do before someone writes us a big check."

See also: Hear the One About the Guy Who Dumped His Girlfriend Live on the Point?

We'd say the real winners of this weekend are the men and women who need help lying to their loved ones about having a boyfriend or girlfriend.

"This is the business of helping [clients] tell a lie -- we're thinking of it more as a shield -- to have the excuse ready in hand and not have to be uncomfortable," says Homann. "It's lightweight but credible social proof."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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12 comments
j-bkk2014
j-bkk2014

line id : 0922727990 thank you ^_^

nsymns
nsymns

I'm so glad that I'm bored and read back o some of these stories. How pitiful and pathetic this sounds, as i'm desperately waiting on that "invisible boyfriend" to be delivered. Wow. Just got divorced after 18 years. And got super screwed in the divorce. I'm thinking of marketing myself as someone's "as needed" girlfriend for a fee. But whoops! Isn't that a crime?? Just like taking these idiots money for such a stupid idea? It is America, afterall. "Stupid is as stupid does", said Forrest Gump!

Greg
Greg

What apps lost?

Person
Person

"The Invisible Girlfriend team celebrates their win."

...Or at the very least approximates a celebration with now-suspect photographic evidence that seven people may or may not have shrugged off their jammies for real clothes, faced the scary prospect of meeting in a conference room, and toasted each other to a future of techno-alienation.

Person
Person

Asperger's as Business Model. This is the death knell of social interaction.

DoucheMcGee
DoucheMcGee

Dating sites - where you can meet actual girls and have actual sex, cost less.

Cuddly
Cuddly

Now that's what I call anti-social media.

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