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Start Garden invests $20K more in social polling app

November 24, 2014
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Startup develops social-polling app
Tizzy allows users to solicit feedback on two side-by-side photos. Photo via

A photo-based social polling app for indecisive people has secured more funding from Start Garden.

Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, said last week at its monthly Update Night event that it will make a $20,000 investment in the mobile app Tizzy.


Tizzy allows users to pose a question by posting two photos side by side for others to vote on with a one-tap swipe.

The social polling app is designed to help users gain organized feedback.

Built for the Apple iOS mobile platform, Tizzy was developed by two Hope College students, Jessica Granger and Macall Smith. The beta version of the app launched on Oct. 30.

During the Update Night, Granger and Smith presented their progress to the Start Garden team and audience to secure additional funding from the seed fund, months after receiving an initial $5,000 investment.

“Partnering” with Start Garden

In response to the $20,000 investment, Tizzy co-founder Granger said they feel very blessed and encouraged that Start Garden cares about the startup and sees it going places.

“We are so thankful to have the Start Garden resources and human capital of everything they know and can connect us with,” Granger said. “They have given us great advice, so we know partnering with them is going to work out well.”

Smith, co-founder of Tizzy, said the funding from Start Garden and its feedback reminded them it’s not only the people who know them and believe in the startup, but also the data gathered from those who have used the app that helped the startup secure more funding.

“Really, a big thank you to Start Garden for believing in us, but also the community we have at Hope College for making it possible to have the data that we did,” Smith said. “They lifted us up. They used and tested Tizzy and that is really what convinced Start Garden and gave them the quantifiable data to say this is a viable product.”

After initial funding

Tizzy allocated the initial Start Garden funds toward development and building additional features into the iOS framework.

The team also worked on a grassroots marketing campaign, including social media, to grow its user base, focusing on its initial target audience of college, high school and middle school students.

“In order to even have users, we had to put the $5K into development, but as we are Hope College students and we live in a thriving ecosystem of supportive and collaborative students, we were able to have a launch party, four focus groups and plaster posters everywhere,” Granger said. “Lots of grassroots marketing toward our campus and the surrounding area.”

Next steps

Based on some of the feedback from users to incorporate additional features, Granger said the team is planning to add new elements to the beta version of the app and smooth out a couple wrinkles.

As the team moves forward with its $20,000 investment, Granger said there are a few social media influencers lined up to help promote the Tizzy app to their respective fan bases, such as hockey players and singers.

“We are working to sign on more who have agreed to push Tizzy to their followers,” Granger said. “We really just want to go at it from a grassroots marketing approach, because Macall and I, we are our target demographic, and we know what we respond to.” 

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