The Eureka Moment
In 2018, our co-founder and CEO Kyle Brastrom had one big question: why isn’t there a group messaging platform out there that helps college students connect and stay in the loop? GroupMe couldn’t be the end-all-be-all, and nothing new seemed to be coming out that was made with students in mind. Enter Dive. Kyle had his eureka moment while a student at UT Austin, and pitched the beginnings of Dive at DisrupTexas 2018, making it as a finalist.
Divers on board: 1
Blowing full steam ahead with Dive, Kyle set out to find his partners for the journey ahead. He met co-founder and CTO John Herrick and Front End Developer Charles Goode both at UT Austin, and dove headfirst into developing the revolutionary app, starting the “drunken walk of entrepreneurship.”
Divers on board: 3
Kyle and John met in their “Introduction to Buddhism” class. After realizing John was destined to be Dive’s CTO, Kyle spent over two hours pitching to John before convincing him of his vision.
The Dive family began to grow even more as Kyle brought on CMO Michelle Fang and CFO and First Hire Luca Tomescu, completing the ultimate C-suite. The team began to polish the app, focusing on Dive’s revamped vision of becoming your go-to social hub, letting you keep up with your existing communities and explore new ones. In the same month, the COVID-19 pandemic sent students everywhere home, opening new doors for Dive.
Divers on board: 5
Dive grew exponentially leading up to this point, attracting enthusiastic and talented students all across the country (and even Canada!). A growing team of student ambassadors started outreach to various campuses, and Dive’s vision of connecting people regardless of the circumstances in the world began to resonate with students everywhere.
Divers on board: 142
Divers found their way around the social limitations the COVID-19 pandemic brought and built a tight-knit community through Zoom traditions such as game-nights, team socials, and coworking hours. Most of the company’s growth took place during the country’s lockdown period, leading to Divers affectionately calling Dive a “COVID company.”
Dive celebrated an explosive waitlist launch, amassing over 2,000 individual signups in the first 24 hours. The team focused on building hype through the month, squashing bugs in the app, and of course hosting many more game nights along the way to stay motivated.
Divers on board: 254
The Big Launch
Dive launched to the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, ending the wait for the 130 student organizations and 10,000 people on the waitlist. While Divers everywhere celebrate the culmination of years of work, thousands of lines of code, and countless hours of Zoom calls, the journey is just beginning.
Divers on board: 358
Divers kicked off Camp Dive the week before launch, hosting a series of events including ZOOMba and ice cream parties to stay energized and unified leading up to their big goal.
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Scroll down to Meet the Team
Co-Founder and CEO
Kyle co-founded Dive and works as the CEO, managing Dive’s entire day-to-day operations.
A rising senior at UT Austin majoring in Marketing, Kyle has been involved with entrepreneurship and the startup world since 2013. He has been a Marketing Manager at three different consumer startups helping them scale their customer base. Kyle was the Head of Press & Media at Drone Sports Association, where he worked closely with partners such as ESPN, GoPro, and Dell, bringing multiple large-scale events from idea to reality.
Co-Founder and CTO
John co-founded Dive and works as CTO, overseeing the product’s development.
Prior to Dive, John has had internships at Microsoft and Niantic working as a software engineer, and has performed research in Natural Language Processing in his undergrad. He also has a passion for hackathons and has won 1st place overall at 4 hackathons, including a back to back win at HackTX, the largest hackathon in Texas. Outside of his professional career, John has a passion for board games, swing dancing, and picking up new skills. John recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Masters in Computer Science.
Front End Developer
Charles started as the sole front end developer during Dive's first 6 months. He now co-leads the development team and focuses on new features and codebase maintenance. His curiosity has led him to a variety of programming experiences. Previously, he was involved in the quantum information science community at his university through research and education. While interning in Germany, he worked on voice assistant software. Charles will graduate this fall from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Computer Science and a certificate in Quantum Information Science.
CFO & First Hire
Luca oversees business development and strategy at Dive with a focus on analytics, revenue generation, and fundraising.
Prior to joining Dive, Luca served as a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital and had several short stints in management consulting, product management, and early-stage startups throughout his time at The University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering and now works remotely from Austin, TX.
Michelle oversees the marketing side of Dive - from running the Growth Marketing, Social Media, Graphics & Media, and Student Ambassadors teams, she makes the Dive brand come to life.
Prior to joining Dive, Michelle started a student-run consultancy focused on Design Thinking at her school and has interned at 3 startups, Wall Street Oasis, and Guidehouse (formerly PwC Public Sector). Michelle enjoys staying active, producing videos, and volunteering in female entrepreneurship initiatives. Michelle recently graduated from William & Mary with a double major in Finance and Economics.