Meet Cliq, the App that Wants to Help Different Friend Groups Meet Up in Chicago

Listen, your friends are great. You've got your favorite bars, your go-to restaurants, and you've developed years of great memories and epic stories. But let's face it, those same bars and restaurants can begin to feel boring, and that story you've heard for the 10th time is getting annoying. Your gang could benefit from meeting another friend group in the city where you all could go out and try something new.

That's the idea behind Cliq, a new Chicago startup that wants to connect separate groups of friends in the city. Inside the iOS app, users can create their "Cliqs" by adding their friends, browse other Cliqs on the platform, and send an invite to meet up with a group you think you'll like.

If the invite is accepted, the app will recommend a cool place to go--like a new bar or a concert. The goal is to connect like-minded friend groups in Chicago, and to get people exploring new areas of the city, CEO and Founder Nick Wieczorek said.

"The idea came to me two years ago when all of our friends from growing up were coming back from college," Wieczorek said. "We spent a lot of time with the same people over and over, and going to the same places ... There's all this awesome stuff to do in the city. Different interesting new people to meet, new places to go. But there wasn’t a great tool to achieve that yet."

Cliq is currently in beta but is accepting users to its Cliq Insiders program, where people can try out the app and get access to things like free concert tickets and other events. The startup says it has around 1,000 users, and it's waiting on more feedback from its users before officially launching.

Cliq is branding itself simply as a group meet up service and not as a dating or hook-up app, said Becca Rabinowitz, Cliq marketing advisor, adding that couples new to Chicago are using it to find other couples, as well as people looking to expand their friend groups.

"We know that people want to meet new friends; that's the main goal of this app," Rabinowitz said. "It doesn't matter if you’re in a relationship, or if you’re a couple. The point of this app is if you’re living in Chicago, you want something to do, and you want to expand your horizons and meet new people, Cliq is where you go."

Cliq wants to be a digital connector for people in Chicago, but the real power of the app is building off-line relationships, Wieczorek added.

"We always talk about millennials being on their phone, being in communication on these different social networks with each other," he said. "But what we’re trying to do is use that to get people to meet face-to-face."

via Chicago Inno