Helping Baltimore locals create the perfect night out
Philip DiMuro is the CEO and co-founder of Loople. Loople is a free app for iPhone and Android that helps users find local drink and food specials. With Loople, users can create the atmosphere for their ideal night out by filtering restaurants and bars by drink types, seating availability, live music, and more. Philip came up with the seed of the idea while working for the Boston Beer Company, and launched the app last year with the help of his co-founder Dave Phelan. As of September 2016, Loople is only available in Baltimore, although the team plans to expand if the app proves successful.
Philip DiMuro spoke with citybizlist publisher Edwin Warfield for this interview.
EDWIN WARFIELD: What led you to found Loople?
PHILIP DIMURO: Loople was an idea that started a few years ago, when I was working full-time, with my cofounder as well. We recognized the need for the market, and it was directly as a result of seeing that if you live in a major city, you have thousands of opportunities for bars and restaurants to choose from, and all of them have different specials to bring you in, but there’s still no easy way for you to find that information when you want to go out. And on the converse side of it, if you’re an alcohol brand, or a bar or restaurant themselves, you’re looking to bring people into your business but struggle to find the right form of marketing. What we wanted to do was create one platform that connected that side of the industry, so that’s what Loople really does: we connect the sides of the industry so that a user can find thousands of specials in seconds; or local drink specials, food specials, live music; or for alcohol brands to actually highlight what they’re doing and bring it to the consumer in a meaningful way.
Q. Tell us about coming up with the idea with your co-founder.
A. My co-founder is Dave Phelan. We met at Susquehanna University, our alma mater. We were studying freshman year, met together at the school, ended up studying abroad together, joined the same fraternity. We were always bouncing ideas off of each other and it really turned into this entrepreneurial spirit. I studied entrepreneurship and marketing myself. Dave was finance and business as well. And the idea came about to want to constantly think of new ideas—so a lot of late nights brainstorming.
Q. What kinds of ideas inspired you?
A. There was a traveler’s book bag that basically had everything you needed to and it could compress your clothes, so you could take one small book bag and you could pack the attire from five different bags into one, making it an easier time to backpack around the world, which is what we found a passion for when we studied abroad.
Q. How did you end up in Baltimore?
A. I ended up in Baltimore four years ago. I was still at Susquehanna University. I was leading into my graduation. I was looking for many different jobs, because while I had entrepreneurial ideas, I knew I wanted experience in the corporate world first. I interviewed for a lot of different companies and went for what I believed was my dream job, and it was to work at Boston Beer— the makers of Samuel Adams, Angry Orchard, and many other products. When I was going through the interview process and they asked me where to go, I was so die-hard to get the job that I said, “Anywhere. Wherever you think I’m going to be good at—send me there.” And I ended up in the final round interview and they asked if I’d enjoy Baltimore, and I’d only been here once before, when a cousin worked in Under Armor but I fell in love with it, even back then, and I said, “Absolutely.” I moved down here four years ago now, and haven’t looked back since.
Connect with Philip on LinkedIn
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