Though a myriad of unknowns still surrounds the coronavirus, what is known is this: Working together has helped many small business owners weather this unparalleled time. Small businesses across a variety of industries are sharing leads, offering advice and encouragement, swapping skills, cross-promoting each other’s work, and, most importantly, building a sense of community among peers in place of competition. What they’ve learned over the past several months offers a blueprint for a more resilient, more collaborative small business ecosystem — even in a post-pandemic world.

What it does

There has never been a better time to collaborate with the others. Businesses need to band together, cross-promote and tap into collaboration marketing as a strategy. When two or more brands team up, create something and help each other grow in the process, it’s a recipe for cost-effective success.

Collabor8 is a platform to support that movement, we allows small business owners to connect and instantly begin collaborating, allowing them to tap into collaboration marketing, without the resources or big budget. Businesses can leverage what they already have; social media communities, email lists, products, services, skills, time, venue spaces, channel promotion, publicity opportunities or resources in order to establish a win/win exchange of value.

In fact, collaboration marketing is up to 25x cheaper than digital advertising and businesses can use collaborations to halve production costs. So Let's Elv8, Cre8 and Innov8.

How we built it

We built this app using React.js using create-react-app as the base app. The frontend was prototyped with Figma and implemented with vanilla Javascript & the styling in CSS. Python and Flask were used to serve the backend API. Firebase's SDK was used as a backend service for providing user authorization & authentication. Two databases, MongoDB & Firestore were chained together and were used for storing user datas & for handling interdependant schemas. This allowed us to receive data from both ends, which we then processed on the viewport. Lastly we hosted this using Heroku's code deploy with gunicorn serving as the wsgi.

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenge of this entire project was probably working virtually in 24 hours. In very short amount of time and different timezones committing over 15,000 lines of code. Working with an international team was very challenging with team members 12+ hours apart.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of finishing the project on time which seemed like a tough task as all of us were working from different timezones & were also able to add most of the features that we envisioned for the app during ideation.

What we learned

A lot of things, both summed up in technical & non-technical sides. For the technical side, we got to learn so much on configuring routes and setting up auth channels between DB's. Adding to that we also gained some UI/UX skills. Not to mention, we learn how to collaborate and communicate with people from all around the world.

What's next for Collabor8

  • More advanced collaboration system
  • Recommendation of business partners using AI and Machine Learning.
  • Real time chat and notification system
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