Charles Svirk, a serial entre­pre­neur who started two com­pa­nies while attending Northeastern's D'Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, knows a thing or two about cap­i­tal­izing on oppor­tu­nity. His latest ven­ture, Photos to Photos, com­bines the fun of online pic­ture sharing with a pop­ular card game from his childhood.

Svirk said Photos to Photos—which was released on Sunday and is avail­able on iPhone—puts a twist on the pop­ular ele­ments of two party games fea­turing cards: the rules of Apples to Apples and the humor of Cards Against Humanity.

“I've enjoyed playing these games while in col­lege, but I always won­dered why there were no mobile appli­ca­tion ver­sions of these pop­ular games,” said Svirk, DMSB'13. “It was then that my busi­ness partner and I came up with the idea to com­bine these games with the pop­u­larity of photo sharing.”

Photos to Photos is a free, social game of photo com­par­isons that can be played with three to five people. Players are first given a prompt word, such as “scary” or “embar­rassing.” Then, they select and submit a photo that best fits the adjective—either from their own smartphone's photo gallery or from a stock image library pro­vided by the game.

Each round, the players rotate so that one of them serves as the judge. The judge selects the winner each round, and the first player to take three rounds wins the game. Players earn vir­tual coins for win­ning and playing daily.

To make money, Svirk and his busi­ness partner Matthew Valich have part­nered with Medi­aSpike, Inc., a com­pany backed by Google Ven­tures that uses “native mon­e­ti­za­tion” to place product adver­tise­ments in apps. Through Medi­aSpike, Inc., Photos to Photos will sell the felt of the game table for adver­tising, but Svirk and Valich said it won't inter­fere with game­play. As a com­par­ison to pro­fes­sional sports, think of it like the adver­tise­ments seen on the playing field or on the players' jerseys.

“The ads will never pop up on you, and you're never going to acci­den­tally click on an ad and be redi­rected out­side of the app,” Svirk explained. “We're thinking out­side the box in terms of mon­e­ti­za­tion, and are hoping users will appre­ciate our unob­tru­sive advertising.”

Photos to Photos has already received gap funding from IDEA, Northeastern's student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator, and a seed invest­ment from busi­nessmen Alec E. Gores and Eric Har­nish. Photos to Photos also attended IDEA's Pitchathon last week.

To help gen­erate pre-​​launch buzz, Svirk turned to another suc­cessful IDEA ven­ture: PreApps, founded by Sean Casto, DMSB'13. PreApps con­nects mobile app devel­opers and users to create better quality, more suc­cessful apps prior to release. As of this week, Photos to Photos was one of the highest rated fea­tured apps on the PreApps platform.

Svirk said IDEA has pro­vided invalu­able resources and sup­port to help get Photos to Photos on the path to success.

“The best thing that I noticed, as an entre­pre­neur, is that IDEA doesn't want any­thing from you but to be your friend. It doesn't take an equity stake, and there are no ulte­rior motives but to help you be suc­cessful,” Svirk said. “It was com­forting to have IDEA, (North­eastern Center for Entre­pre­neur­ship co-​​director) Dan Gre­gory, the men­tors, the board mem­bers, and the resource providers in my corner. I hope that one day we're suc­cessful enough to give back to IDEA for all it's helped us with.”