Last week, we announced Asthmapolis as the winner of the Twilio & Union Square Ventures developer contest and promised we would reveal the top finalists. Here are the five finalists, (in alphabetical order) and a little more about the apps and the developers who made them. Each has won $250 in Twilio credit to help get their businesses off the ground. Congratulations, and thank you to everyone for participating.
Ad Committee was created by Brian Delaney, and provides tracking phone numbers for local businesses to measure the results of their advertising campaigns.
The Problem: Most local businesses have a very limited ad budget. It’s crucial they spend their ad dollars on campaigns that produce results. Most businesses don’t have the time or resources to track their marketing effectively. They don’t know for sure how many calls a certain campaign generates, and they know little about the callers and where they are coming from. Another major problem local businesses experience is improper call handling by their staff. They don’t have an easy way to review their calls or train new reps.
The Solution: Ad Committee provides local call tracking phone numbers. Businesses place a different tracking number on each of their advertising campaigns. As calls from their advertising campaigns roll in to the tracking numbers, they are counted, forwarded to the main office line, and recorded. Management can then login to their Ad Committee account to see how many calls each campaign generates, listen to the calls, and view information about how many calls they receive over time, and where most of the calls originate. This powerful information provides the insight needed to make good marketing decisions – eliminating unproductive advertising, and focusing on the campaigns that are producing results.
Diner Connection was created by Geoffrey Simpson, and is an online software application that manages the customer experience at restaurants.
The Problem: The distinction of Diner Connection is that it gives restaurants a customer management solution with minimal start up costs, affordable monthly subscription fees, and eliminates the necessity of purchasing expensive proprietary hardware. Additionally, Diner Connection.com is the only restaurant customer management system that utilizes text messaging as a standard feature for customer contact.
The Solution: Diner Connection eliminates the high cost of wait list management by providing a product that can work with any system that can connect to the internet: laptop, desktop, or iPad. By eliminating expensive, proprietary systems, Diner Connection allows the restaurant to focus its finances and efforts into providing a wonderful experience for the customer. After the dining experience has ended, Diner Connection continues the relationship between restaurant and patron by facilitating loyalty programs, targeted marketing, and customer tracking. By utilizing the fastest growing technology in the United States, the cell phone, Diner Connection allows the restaurant to talk directly to their most valuable asset: their customers.
Main Street was created by Tawheed Kader, and helps any ‘main street’ business instantly create a website that integrates with Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Twitter and now Twilio.
The Problem: We believe that every main street business should establish an online presence that effectively caters to their potential customers. Unfortunately, it is both costly AND confusing for typical business owners to establish a presence. Added to that is the confusion and complexity around the various social media services that are gaining in popularity where conversations are taking place about their business.
The Solution: In just 60 seconds, Main Street establishes a basic, beautiful and effective web presence for any ‘main street’ business. It also automatically pulls in all the conversations, reviews, etc about the business from popular social sites and lets the business owner curate and promote the content easily. Most importantly, a Main Street site answers the three key questions any potential customer wants answers for: 1) who are you 2) how do I contact you 3) what others are saying about you.
Voicendo was created by Garrett Wilson, and provides a user interface for small businesses and independent professionals to manage their incoming phone calls (even SMS) routed according to their call rules, routes, and variables, anywhere and however they like.
The Problem: Voicendo solves a problem entrepreneurs and independent professionals all seem to have – we want to be everywhere at once, and easily reachable, when we want to be. With the rise of products like Google Voice, this problem has gotten slightly easier, but GV still lacks features required from a forward facing business.
The Solution: We enable business to configure their numbers in a hosted, stable environment, and keep the simple pay-as-you-go model that allows a predictable expense. Features include the ability to setup call schedules (even based on specific contacts, in their address book), simple call forwarding, SMS notifications, voicemail, conferencing to multiple callers at once, “find me” type functionality that rings all phones until one answers, custom menus to route calls (using text-to-speech or recorded messages), and a few others. By providing an easy to use interface, combined with a powerful backend and simple billing – we aim to streamline the process of configuring business phone numbers and continuously maintaining them. With a free iPhone and Android app on the way, we feel anyone could benefit from our services.
Weeels was created by David Mahfouda, and is a digital tool that transforms ordinary for-hire vehicles into networked social transportation systems.
The Problem: Public transportation – a vital resource – is failing or nonexistent in most American cities. Weeels is an interface and a set of client applications that augment existing vehicles, transforming them into functional transit systems.
The Solution: Weeels reduces the cost of road transit by coordinating (initially) cab rides (eventually all rides) – via smart phone and sms applications – among passengers with complementary itineraries.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Twilio contest with Union Square Ventures. Our current developer contest with the PayPalX platform is underway, and submissions are due 11:59pm PST on October 31st. Learn more on our contests page.