Western Herald – WMU alumnus designs app to help users discover local events

WMU alumnus designs app to help users discover local events

Linda Hanes
News Reporter

App photo courtesy of John Almeida.

Many Kalamazoo residents, especially college students who only live in the area during the school year, don’t know about many of the events occurring in the community.  They usually don’t know where to search for the information and they don’t have the time to search for it.

A technology startup company based out of St. Louis, Mo., has attempted to make sense of the disarray of neighborhood events with a new application called NABR.  Co-founders of the app, Michael Werner, Emmanuel Ortiguela and John Almeida, saw the need for a mobile program that assists active individuals who are concerned about missing events occuring in their city, especially if they are not yet familiar with the area.

Utilizing existing smartphone capabilities, social networking sites and GPS navigation, this app allows individuals to share information about events that they may have organized themselves or something they just plan on attending. Users can also look through posts, made by others in their area, to discover events that they may be interested in attending. These events can range from something occurring presently, or events that will take place at a future time.

Almeida, a Western Michigan University alumnus, said that users will be able to post events to the app by using the interface’s camera abilities.  Users can take a picture of a poster or flyer, or, if the event is in progress, they can snap a photo of the actual event and then enter the necessary information of that event.

Vik Ganti, a junior at WMU, said that he is interested in attending more community events but that he never knows what is occurring in the Kalamazoo area.

Almeida, moved to St. Louis and there experienced the same feeling as Ganti had in Kalamazoo.  Almeida found that information regarding local events was very “scattered and hard to find.”   That started the idea for an app which would function as a single place to search for neighborhood events.

Almeida believes that this app could be especially advantageous for students, both to discover events to attend and also to promote their own event or business.

“NABR would make it possible to make the distinction of limited local events that are relevant to your area, specifically your campus,” Almeida said.  “In addition, a user can use their existing social profile to invite others to join.  We see this mix helping students connect and really promote their organizations in an organic way.”

The app has been in development since April 2013 and is currently going through the process of beta testing. Students interested in getting involved with the testing process should visit mynabr.com. Updates can also be found on the NABR Twitter and Facebook pages.

Almeida said that he expects to have completed testing on the app and to have it fully operational by Oct. 31.

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