Startup develops social polling app
A pair of Hope College students is developing a photo-based mobile app for indecisive people.
Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, said last week that it will invest $5,000 in the in-development app Tizzy.
Designed to assist people with indecision and organized feedback, Tizzy would allow users to post two photos side by side for friends to answer a posed question. The friends would then be able to swipe between the two photos to cast their vote.
Jessica Granger, co-founder of Tizzy, said the social-polling app is similar to Instagram in functionality and can incorporate the publicly posted questions often seen on Facebook or Twitter in a more streamlined and organized manner.
Granger said users could post questions such as “‘Which team is going to win the World Cup?’ or ‘Which shoes should I wear with my dress?’”
“We saw a need with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter where people would try to compare two things . . . that seemed to get messy,” Granger said. “We thought we would make a separate platform that is designed specifically for that.”
Named after the agitation that can result from indecision, Tizzy is being developed for the Apple iOS platform and is anticipated to be released in October. Tizzy hopes to work on an Android and Microsoft version in the future.
Macall Smith, co-founder of Tizzy, said initial work on the social-polling application began last fall and funding was acquired from multiple sources.
“We started funding in the spring, started with a pitch competition and led to some personal investment, gathering some friends and family who really believed in us, which led to the funding that we needed,” Smith said.
Tizzy received funding from the MWest Challenge, a regional business plan competition, and a Hope College pitch competition, according to Granger.
Although the initial focus for the app’s target audience includes college, high school and even middle school students for fun and exciting questions, Smith said the goal is to expand into the business market in the future.
“That is where we have sustainability for the app with a revenue stream,” Smith said. “If a business like Patagonia wants to get feedback from their demographic, they can post two photos and send it to everyone who uses Tizzy. They can get feedback through there, and that is one of the avenues we are going to expand to.”
Granger said the two founders are beyond excited to be selected by Start Garden for funding and support.
“We are just so passionate about Tizzy, and we are so happy that they feel the same way,” Granger said. “We are definitely thankful for them investing in us and seeing a future with what we are doing, because we definitely do as well. We are very excited to be part of the Start Garden community, going to their workshops, meeting those contacts. . . . We are just very thankful.”
Tizzy has the funds to “create the minimum viable product, as we call it, kind of the bare bones of the app,” Granger said.
A majority of the Start Garden funds will go toward the development of additional features and tweaking the existing product, while the remaining funds will fund marketing and advertising.
Tizzy was chosen by Start Garden based on a public vote at startgarden.com and a decision by the Start Garden team, as part of the seed fund’s weekly award of $5,000 in initial funding to a startup.
Tizzy is required to return to a monthly Start Garden Update Night event after a couple of months to present on its progress to be considered for further funding.