Two HBCU grads created an app that’ll help you take your IG to the next level

When you’re trying to flex for the gram, having a cute photo sometimes isn’t enough.

In order to really make your ex miss you and your haters mad, you need a fire IG caption to go with your picture.

It’s simple. Good captions engage people.

While Instagram is an incredibly visual platform, simply posting a photo or video won’t drive conversions and increase engagement. Having a well thought out caption is really what makes a significant impact on your Instagram results.

For this reason and more is why two HBCU grads decided to help you with your IG caption woes. After meeting in undergrad at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Juwan Nicholson and JaBre’ Jennings had no idea that they would one day co-found an app that would reach hundreds of thousands of people.

Before the duo became co-founders of a tech company, they were simply students who were trying to make an impact on their college campus. Juwan and JaBre’ became friends while on the Student Government Association public relations team. After working on several projects together, they realized that they worked great together on a team.

After graduation, they both came back to Baltimore and worked in social media at the mayor’s Office of Development. While they were working there, they spearheaded a few projects, but ultimately realized that they were working on someone else’s dream and not their own.

“We knew that we could leave, do something ourselves that we loved, and build our own company,” JaBre’ told Mogul Millennial.

Around that time is when their mobile app Caption Any Photo came to mind. The idea initially came to JaBre’ and Juwan while they were at their alma mater for homecoming.

“We were taking photos, but couldn’t think of the right caption. Twenty to thirty minutes later, we ended up coming up with probably some basic Drake caption and realized that this process was taking too long. We felt that there should be an app out there that could help us with the caption, but it wasn’t. We jokingly said that we could do it, and went on to enjoy the rest of homecoming,” JaBre’ shared.

Days later after the homecoming lituation was over, JaBre’ and Juwan talked about the caption app idea again, and decided to take it serious. After doing more research and seeing that there was literally nothing like their idea on the market, they knew they could create it and become a pioneer in the space.

Around the same time, JaBre’ was actually in grad school for software engineering and created a demo for this idea in his class and ended up getting an ‘A” on it. He received a lot of positive feedback and love from his classmates on the idea, and it inspired him to continue working on the app idea.

From there, JaBre’ and Juwan developed the first prototype and started working on a plan to get feedback. While they didn’t have alot of money for marketing their app, they still made it work.

“We did alot of guerilla marketing and started by going on a HBCU homecoming tour and would set up a booth to talk about our app. For some of the campuses near Baltimore, we did the actual vendor registration, but for the homecomings further south, we just went for it on a whim. We created small handbills, and literally passed out our flyer. With our marketing, some things we did go by the book, but sometimes we went with the idea to just ask for forgiveness later. We were able to get alot of feedback, and were able to let the students actually try out our app. From there, we took the market research that we got from these HBCU homecoming trips and used it to create our first actual beta version that we released to the public in 2017,” JaBre’ shared.

Around this time, JaBre’ and Juwan were still working full-time and were in grad school. They knew that they needed to get more validation from the market before pursuing their idea full-time. Working a 9-5, being in grad school, and building an app was definitely a crazy, hectic time for JaBre’ and Juwan, but eventually, it all worked out in their favor.

A few months later, JaBre’ and Juwan had gained over 100,000 daily active users on their app, and were growing rapidly at an organic rate. They had also only launched it on iOS and not in the Android market. “During this time I didn’t know how to code it for Android, but we knew that once we did develop for this market, our users would grow even more. We started a sign-up list for Android users and we’ve gotten over 30,000 people to sign up to be notified when we would release the Android version,” JaBre’ told Mogul Millennial.

Since then, JaBre’ and Juwan have partnered with influencers at HBCU campuses, and have started working with an influencer platform called Maverick to reach more users and grow their company.

Despite this, alot of their users still hear about Caption Any Photo from friends. JaBre’ and Juwan have found that the power of word of mouth is something that worked from them in the early stages of their startup, and still is valuable to this day.

Fast forward to two years since launching their startup, they are working on a geolocation and geo-category portion of their app, which will be similar to the way that Snapchat geo-filters work. For example, if they partnered with Coachella or Trap Karaoke, people will be able to find relatable captions because their location will help the app generate alike captions.

With over 35,000 caption ideas and working on the Android release, JaBre’ and Juwan are definitely leading the way for content marketing technology.

To download the app and get your captions together, click here.

Written by Mogul Millennial Staff