VenueMachine Connects Small Businesses to Social Influencers

Barnaby and NamitSmall businesses have long been searching for effective ways to utilize social networks to better engage their customers and spread the word about their brand. VenueMachine was created at the 2011 Foursquare Global Hackathon with this in mind, providing a platform for businesses to easily identify and reach out to social influencers. I spoke to Namit and Barnaby from the VenueMachine team to find out how and why they built this awesome hack that’s pretty to boot.

What’s the back story of VenueMachine? Why was it started?

VenueMachineWe came up with the idea on Saturday morning (day 1 of the hackathon) so there isn’t much of a backstory to the concept itself. For the team, we’ve known each other for a while – we went to university together. A lot of social media marketers & venue owners have shown interest so far.

What technologies are you using to build and support VenueMachine?

We’re using a whole bunch – Ruby on Rails, Backbone.js & Twitter Bootstrap for development. Twilio, Foursquare, Klout & Twitter APIs. Heroku & Pusher as infrastructure.

How was the experience of integrating Twilio with your chosen tools and technologies?

Fantastic, we pulled in the ruby gem (twilio-rb) and we we’re all set in a few minutes.

How did you get started developing with Twilio?

We actually have some experience using Twilio before for Bonapp. We use Clickatell for support here in the UK, can’t wait for international SMS support here.

Thanks for building an awesome hack and congratulations on winning a meeting with Union Square Ventures for being the top Global Foursquare Hack to use Twilio. I, for one, look forward to crashing your servers with Justin Bieber’s Klout Score of 100 when he comes into my coffee shop.

Find me on Twitter (@jonmarkgo) or via e-mail ( if you ever want to chat, bounce an idea, or simply have some SMS-powered coffee.