The San Diego startup ecosystem is growing, along with the resources available to entrepreneurs. Mentor programs, co-working spaces and meetup events over the past few years have increased at an exciting rate. The Startup Garage is going to cover monthly startup events and interview entrepreneurs to showcase the exceptional talent in our local area. Unless expressed, the startups and entrepreneurs in these series are not clients of The Startup Garage.
Breadcrumbs was conceived in June 2012 at Startup Weekend in San Diego as a self-tracking mobile application. Sean compares the early version to the Mint.com for time-management. After winning Startup Weekend and a Qualcomm hackathon, Qualcomm Labs invested $50,000 in the company. Soon thereafter, Breadcrumbs was accepted into San Diego’s tech incubator, EvoNexus.
Searching for Customer Validation
Breadcrumbs positioned itself to bars and restaurants as location-aware messaging. Users could sign-up for restaurant alerts such as happy hour and daily menu specials, events, and special promotions. Users would only receive alerts when close to the establishment. Despite a respectable adoption rate from local restaurants and bars, the problem was content. Owners were unable to curate these daily alerts on a regular basis.
The Pivot: A Sustainable Business and Profit Model
Through the past year and a half of market testing in the San Diego area, Sean and team believe they have found a sweetspot. The new model solves the problem of restaurant website mediocrity and real-time content.
I. Business Listings
The problem with how search engines handle local search is that they get you to a business’ doorstep – their Yelp reviews, social media pages, and website. But what if there was a search resource to search inside businesses as well as get updates from your favorite ones – even the ones not active on social media? Enter Breadcrumbs.
Sean and team have developed a one-page template for businesses that allows users to get the information they want quickly and intuitively.
Other tabs: Recent News (aggregate of business’ social media), Events (one-time events), and Menu (a business menu/offerings)
Accuracy concerns? Breadcrumbs reps will frequently update the listings – especially the ones that do impromptu specials and events.
Since these business listings are standardized, it allows users to conduct searches across listings instead of merely browsing pages/social media.
At the top corner of every listing is a clickable heart. This is the ‘Subscribe’ button.
Subscribing to a business delivers their latest updates directly to you.
Sean believes this can be used in a lot of directions (eg: notifications for an updated menu, happy hour changes, added new events to their calendar, a reminder that an event you want to attend is happening soon, updated their social media, etc.,.). It also saves the business for quick access whenever you visit your user dashboard.
To learn more about Breadcrumbs journey, watch our interview with Sean Dominguez. If you are a San Diego startup looking for coverage, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.