AppCityLife is one of 20 promising startups included in the MobileBeat 2010 Startup Competition and is in the running for one of two coveted Tesla Awards.
AppCityLife, a new city guide application for your mobile phone, seeks to provide you with all the details you need about your local environment, from post offices to laundry to schools and hospitals. But it also aims to serve up tailored promotions that even the smallest vendors can afford, making it a truly local service.
“By offering a resource app which users continue to frequent for the free resources, we provide businesses with the opportunity to enter the mobile promotions market at reasonable costs and in meaningful ways,” the company says.
Currently launched in Albuquerque, N.M., AppCityLife for the iPhone and iPad doesn’t just deliver information about your nearby surroundings, it offers mini-apps that provide even more content on events and deals tied to particular locations or companies — all for free. For example, you can purchase event tickets like you would on StubHub or search for restaurants like you would on Yelp from within the application. Other features allow you to pay bills, book hotel rooms, and sign up for tours and other events.
AppCityLife has partnered with almost every major news outlet in Albuquerque, in addition to convention centers, the city’s visitor bureau and the chamber of commerce in order to make sure that its content is always up to date.
These relationships make it easy for local businesses to list themselves on AppCityLife for as little as $30 a year. These same businesses can offer promotions to users for as little as $25 a year. The more a company pays, the more control it can have over the look and feel of its promotions and presence within the application. AppCityLife says it has a base of approximately 50,000 businesses in a city the size of Albuquerque.
“Not every business can afford to create its own iPhone app, nor do consumers want to download thousands of apps to reach the businesses they frequent within a community,” says AppCityLife president Lisa Abeyta. “Our sponsorships provide a conduit for businesses to create their own custom features within our city guide for much less than custom app development would cost, and with a broader reach than any single business might be able to generate on their own.”
AppCityLife is part of Onqueue Technologies, a mobile promotions network, allowing all of the app’s custom features to appear within any other application on the networks — making more creative cross promotions possible.
The company hopes to one day be active in the largest 100 urban markets in the U.S. It will start hiring people in earnest later this year and next year to make this happen. So far it has had over 1,000 downloads and has landed two major paid sponsorships. Former Microsoft vice president Tom Lopez sits on its board of directors.