Amidst all this coverage of snazzy new products from big established companies, it’s always a huge breath of fresh air to talk to the little guys — budding independent entrepreneurs passionately making clever new apps and services. In many ways, these are the people that actually keep the tech industry interesting.
Swirl It is a bit of a passion project, as both Hawkins and her co-founder Nic Werner have very busy full-time jobs at other tech companies (Sharethrough and Slashdot, respectively.) After meeting on a “co-founder date” two years back and bonding over their wish to bring an accessible wine-focused app to market, the pair have worked nights and weekends to make Swirl It a reality. At the moment, the company is totally bootstrapped.
One of the big differentiators for Swirl It is how it has a huge focus on location — the idea is that while a label might help us pick out a wine to begin with, often what we end up really associate a wine with is the where and when — that great Chardonnay you tried out at that one restaurant, or that affordable Rose your friend brought to a picnic. Swirl It’s database has 15,000 wines and 5,000 locations, with more being added daily.
We brought Hawkins by TechCrunch TV to give us a hands-on look at Swirl It and talk about what sets it apart from other apps for the oenophile set. My first impression is that Swirl is a well-designed app that fulfills a definite need simply and effectively — it’ll be fun to see how it takes off in the days ahead now that it’s out in the wild.
Check it all out in the video embedded above.