Beta Byte: LocalLedge

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Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.28.11 PMBeta Byte is a series underwritten by Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq for that early stage tech found somewhere between idea and traction. 

What is the name of the company and/or product? Where is it found online?

LocalLedge can be found at http://www.localledge.com

Open Beta for Android users at https://plus.google.com/communities/104649030195462412878

What problem does this solve and how does it create value?

LocalLedge is a digital community board to connect you with just your city through the use of public and private Ledges.

Technology is great but it also has taken a large toll on community interactions. With busy lives many of us have lost that social connection which is the foundation of our community and neighborhoods.

LocalLedge Rebuilds that connection by allowing you to instantly connect with others just in your community to organize and chat about what matters to you through the use of GEO location based Ledges.

Think of a Ledge as digital community board that constantly changes and allows users to interact with each other in real time. You can instantly create Ledges that only your community can see.

It’s a great way to find out what is going on around town or to organize a study group with friends, pickup game of basketball, form a neighborhood watch, organize a park cleanup or other community event.

The true value of LocalLedge comes from the versatility of functions and how each member can individualize the app to support and interact with their others on the local level.

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What is the full launch/release date planned?

A live beta is currently being performed now for Android users at

https://plus.google.com/communities/104649030195462412878

Official launch in the Google PlayStore is Expected at the end of Q4 2014. In early Q1 of 2015; the IOS version of the app should exit beta and be released in the App Store.

Who is on the team?

Jacob A Erdei: Founder

Percy (Dog): Good Listener, Better Sleeper

What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used? Is there any IP?

Parse is used as the backend and offers a low cost model for LocalLedge while being able to scale quickly. For Geo location information LocalLedge utilizes phones GPS location functions. Apps are being written natively for each OS to ensure full functionality and to take advantage of all phone features.

What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?

Because the app is user generated content we have very little to translate to make the app available worldwide.

Plans to market in 2 test cities in the U.S. are in the works as well as 1 city in Brazil and 1 city in the EU. Heavy focus will be on android users as the cost per acquisition is lower than IOS users.All marketing will be done to focus on just a few specific geo locations to help build a following of users.

What is your revenue model?

LocalLedge is against interruption based advertising because it offers little end value to the consumer. At this time we have forgone monetizing LocalLedge but there are several possible long term ways of monetizing LocalLedge.

1. Subscription based advertising service for local businesses to create their own Ledge. This would allow a restaurant for instance to offer a special to users to get them to subscribe to the commercial Ledge. Once subscribed to the Ledge the business would be able to send exclusive offers to entice patrons to come back and repatriate the business. This method allows for cross marketing potential. A business who is actively engaging in reaching existing and new customer would be apt to advertise their Ledge and entice users to subscribe. This gives the end user value because they receive wanted notifications on specials and this is a clear win for the business as they have a way to reach out to existing and new customers to re-engage.

Alternatively this method would allow small businesses to have in essence their own app without having to incur development costs.

2. Public ledges auto expire after a 24 hours period to keep ensure there is no massive list of inactive ledges. Potential here lies in the ability to charge .10 cents to extend the Ledge another 24 hours. Users always have the option of taking the ledge private which would automatically extend the life of the ledge for free but would not longer be viewable to the general public.

3. Directly charge local business a 1 time fee for an advertisement. This is the least valuable option currently available.

Several other ways of monetization are also possible but not a focus because the user base is more important than the advertising model.

What is your greatest strength?

The ability to quickly adapt the app code to take advantage of how users are interacting with the software as well as 10+ years of interment marketing experience. LocalLedge has the ability to track all installs of the app on any advertising platform as well as the expertise on hand to geo target specific locations to reach the critical mass needed for such and app to be useful to a community at large.

What is your biggest weakness?

LocalLedge is understaffed. To take the marketing to the next level the right people need to be brought on board to help in the marketing efforts and sustaining any larger OS updates.

What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?

There are a variety of variables that need to happen to make LocalLedge a success. A properly timed PR campaign is needed to ensure a successful launch of LocalLedge. A rounded online marking plan is in place but funds are lacking to fully take advantage of all advertising platforms to drive mass installs of the app.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We love beta testers. The more people we can get to join the app and test out the features the better. This will help us work out all existing bugs and will help to finalize the UI as well as any major features we may be missing. LocalLedge is also looking for strategic partnerships that would allow for the creation of business ledges. This process involves working with local companies and understanding what their needs are when communicating with existing patrons and acquiring new patrons.

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