The SoGood helps you discover the best local businesses through the recommendations of friends and local tastemakers.
WHAT DOES YOUR START-UP BUSINESS DO?
The SoGood helps you discover the best local businesses through the recommendations of friends and local tastemakers. Our research indicates that word-of-mouth recommendations drive discovery of local businesses, but access to these recommendations is fairly fragmented. We’ve created a mobile app to provide consumers with a targeted channel to share and receive these recommendations. Our new iPhone app allows you to easily see which fitness studio your friend loves or which floral designer a top event planner recommends.
HOW DID YOUR VENTURE START?
My co-founder Hillary and I both recently moved from NYC to Charlotte and Richmond. When you move to a new city, there’s a lot to navigate and you need a ton of recommendations, everything from a great local market and wine shop to a hairstylist, fitness studio, and a dermatologist. Initially we turned online to try to discover the best places in our new towns, but were frustrated by the massive listings and anonymous reviews of sites like Yelp and Angie’s List. We felt there was a gap in the local discovery market and set out to create a premium network of the best local businesses that catered to the way women (our target demographic) liked to discover and shop.
After much research, we discovered this meant that our network should be curated, highly visual, focused on storytelling, and driven by the recommendations of people you trust. Our tastemaker network (which is a network of local celebrities and industry experts) came about from user feedback. We discovered that women were excited by the idea that they could access recommendations from the best local chef in town or from an editor of a great magazine like Garden & Gun.
HOW WILL YOU USE THE $10,000 CASH PRIZE TO HELP YOUR START-UP?
We’ll use it to continue to build our technology and to assist in marketing as we launch in Richmond.