Mike Perrone and Jeff Lanza started SocialSign.in as a way for business owners to turn free Wi-Fi into valuable marketing data while building relationships with their customers. When a business uses SocialSign.in, customers who connect to the business’ free Wi-Fi are prompted to sign in with their Facebook account or with their email address. Customers who access the free Wi-Fi and are given calls to action: “Like us on Facebook” or “Download our app,” for instance.

Aside from providing branded Wi-Fi, companies can use SocialSign.in to acquire customers’ email addresses for mailing lists, gathering visitor feedback, and interacting with their customers on social media. For instance, with SocialSign.in a company can look at their customers’ collective Facebook likes. Using this data, companies might begin catering to their customer’s music preferences.

Last year, SocialSign.in was selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants to participate in MetaProp NYC’s real estate tech accelerator. The program provides participants with access to office space, mentors and global investment capital.

On January 26, 2016 in New York City and February 3, 2016 in San Francisco, SocialSign.in participated in MetaProp NYC’s Demo Day. The event celebrated the culmination of the 22-week accelerator program and gave graduating startups a chance to showcase their products.

Mike Perrone

Co-Founder and CEO Mike Perrone started SocialSign.in as a privacy-conscious way to turn free Wi-Fi into valuable customer data.

Just before Demo Day, we caught up with Mike Perrone who shared SocialSign.in’s future plans and his own experience being a part of MetaProp NYC’s tech accelerator.

cre.tech: How many individual clients and venues are using SocialSign.in?

Mike Perrone: SocialSign.in has hundreds of customers through the live entertainment, retail, and commercial real estate verticals. Some of our recent clients include Modells, The Palace at Auburn Hills, The Howard Hughes Corp, and Telecharge.

cre.tech: What hardware is necessary for a client to begin using SocialSign.in?

Mike Perrone: SocialSign.in customers only need a compatible wireless enviroment to get started. Most clients can be up and running in less than an hour and SocialSign.in supports all the major enterprise wireless platforms.

cre.tech: There are other Wi-Fi companies with similar offerings. What differentiates SocialSign.in?

Mike Perrone: SocialSign.in enables the best commercial venues to turn their guest WiFi into an incredibly effective marketing and sponsorship channel. SocialSign.in’s customers use our technology to cultivate a highly qualified, valuable audience using the foot-traffic they already have. Unlike other services that serve the same content to every visitor, with SocialSign.in each visitor is accessible to serve personalized offers and engaging content while generating valuable CRM data and promotable email relationships. SocialSign.in then helps business continue the conversation after the customer has left with automated emails and online retargeting.

cre.tech: Explain some innovative ways that clients are using SocialSign.in.

Mike Perrone: SocialSign.in’s clients are using the interactions on guest WiFi not only as an acqusition funnel but also more increasily as an email and online retargeting trigger. However, the most innovative from our point-of-view are the clients who have completely replaced their CRMs with our service.

cre.tech: What was the single most valuable “take-away” from your MetaProp NYC accelerator experience?

Mike Perrone: Working with MetaProp accelerator was beneficial to help quickly expand in the commercial real estate vertical. As a company we were able to quickly expand our industry knowledge and leverage real estate connections through MetaProp’s founders and key associations. We esitmate that we 3x our speed into this market from the program.

cre.tech: What advice would you give to start-ups considering participation in an accelerator program?

Mike Perrone: Carefully select the program you decided to do as they are not all created equal and once you join make sure to fully utilize all the resources available to you during the accelerator period.

cre.tech: What’s next for SocialSign.in?

Mike Perrone: To expand in the commercial real estate and retail verticals as well as transportation hubs.