Chicago Interviews Startups

Tandem Lane: Turn Your Photos into Postcards

Tandem Lane

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What is Tandem Lane?

We have an iOS app which makes it fun and easy for families to connect across generations. In less than a minute, you can turn photos from your phone, Facebook, or Instagram into beautiful physical postcards which we will print out and deliver anywhere in North America. It’s a great way to connect with those family members who aren’t on social media.

Who is your target user?

Our target user is somebody who wants a fun and easy way to connect with their family. The two most obvious and useful categories or users we are going after are 1) those children and grandchildren of seniors whose older loved ones are not using email and/or social media to connect the way that we do. By using our app, you can share photos with them they would otherwise not see; and 2) young grandparents as well as aunts/uncles who want to connect with a grandchild or niece/nephew who is too young to use email and social media. Our postcards are a really fun way to stay in touch in between visits and send a surprise in the mail to someone you love.

Why did you build Tandem Lane? What problem are you taking on?

We built our product because while technology has made the world a lot smaller, in some ways it has become harder for families to stay as connected as we’d like. Today, family members are much more likely to move around for school, work, or their significant others and those who aren’t as technologically adept as others are often left out of the loop.

My grandparents lived in Arizona while I was on the East Coast. It was easy to tell myself I would call them on Sunday, much harder to actually do it. And while I would post pictures and updates on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, the people I cared about most were not able to see these updates. We wanted to make it really easy and fun to connect with those members of our family, older and younger, we were not communicating with as often as we’d like.

How is Tandem Lane different from what is currently available?

Our app is incredibly seamless and easy to use. The front of our postcards are dedicated entirely to the photos we want to share and the back has a large area to write a message to the recipient. Our postcards are printed on high quality, glossy paper, and are beautiful enough to garner a prominent spot on Grandma’s fridge.

Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?

My partner, Anila, and I actually started Tandem Lane as a subscription box company for seniors – BirchBox for Grandma, if you will. We tested out the concept and quickly found that while our recipients loved getting a surprise every month, the “product” they liked most was the photos and notes that recipients were including. As a result, we decided to build a product that allowed family members to send this simple, but very impactful gift as often as they’d like.

Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.

Anila Venkat is originally from Canada and went to school at McGill. She worked in finance after graduation before going to Harvard Business School. Thereafter, she worked on marketing projects at Boston Consulting Group. She always had the entrepreneurial itch and decided to start ElderBranch, an information portal for seniors and their caregivers to research and compare nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Chris Lund is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from Notre Dame, Chris worked in Boston and New York as a hedge fund analyst investing in health care companies. Chris left finance to join Anila at ElderBranch.

Where can people find out more?

iTunes App Store