Meet OpenFloor: A New Way To Engage

OpenFloor is real-time Q&A online. Users can share knowledge with others by opening the floor and answering questions. Currently, the product is in early beta and is part of The Mill in downtown Las Vegas.

“At OpenFloor, we intend to change the way people engage with their audience,” said co-founder George Diab. “OpenFloor offers a timed question and answer session that a host can open at any time.”

George Diab says the idea for OpenFloor came about in a unique way.

“It was a wild recreation of a joke that Ann (my wife) and I would run real life bits on,” explained George Diab. “Then we started engaging friends in person, and it was always fun to proclaim that “The floor is open!” or “The floor is closed!” This moved on to Facebook interactions, which received a lot of traction.”

When the two began discussing creating an app for the idea, they told local designer Max Aceituno.

“I’ve been wanting to work with George for a while on an app idea,” said Max Aceituno, co-founder of OpenFloor. “One day I saw George doing these “floor is open” experiments on FB. It was pretty fun and sort of reminded me of Reddit AMA’s, but more personal and fun. I called George one evening and said, “let’s make an app out of it! it will be fun”. The rest is history.”

George Diab is a lifelong Las Vegas resident and has been involved in the local tech scene for more than 15 years.

“I have owned a local software development company, GOTO 10 Solutions, for over 3 years and recently worked with local startup Rolltech,” he said.

Max Aceituno founded a web development/marketing firm in San Francisco 15 years ago. He missed Las Vegas and moved back to town in 2001.

“I’m a designer, developer, wearer of many hats by trade, a family man, and proud supporter of all things #VegasTech,” he said.

In 2013, both were part of the core team lead by Gabe Shepherd that brought #vegastech to SXSW in Austin, TX.

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The pair decided to apply to The Mill in downtown Las Vegas to launch their new idea. The Mill is a place to test your ideas and starts with a $5k investment in entrepreneurially-minded people. The program is powered by Work In Progress.

Max Aceituno says they were motivated to apply to The Mill by meeting new people, serendipitous collisions in downtown Las Vegas, and working alongside the tech community, friends and peers.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” he said. “The Mill has been great for helping us validate our early ideas, connecting us with great people, and offering support when needed.”

“To be honest, I love working at home and I could stay there working for days without lifting my head up. So spending more time at Work In Progress since joining The Mill allows me to see my favorite community peeps more often and the multiplied connections, collaboration, and feedback has been awesome,” added George Diab.

A recent Floor got some traction online when George Moncrief, Entrepreneur in Residence at VegasTechFund, jumped in to answer questions from #VegasTech community members, entrepreneurs, and friends. Questions ranged from thoughts on a recent conference to his favorite food. View the Floor here.

Max Aceituno and George Diab say what’s next for OpenFloor is Lean Methodology at work.

“We are busy running experiments on what features get us the best traction and growth, as well as add the most value to our application,” said George Diab. “Expect features like being able to follow others on OpenFloor and getting notified when they open the floor.”

“We’d love to have the #VegasTech community try out OpenFloor themselves!” Max Aceituno said.  “We feel like everyone has something of value to share. When you see speakers or major influencers offering to answer questions using Twitter, you could tell them that our product provides one place where all questions and answers can be read and saved in an orderly way. Encourage your knowledgeable and witty friends to open a floor. Test our bandwidth by getting a lot of people to open their own floor at once, tweet it out to their followers, and crush the floors with questions!”

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