Vuzag is a new location-based search engine that displays a live snapshot of a user’s local community. The platform helps people get information on local events currently happening. And, it was founded Robert Seals and Daniel Gresham, two former SMU football players.
Vuzag—pronounced “view-zag”—is a play-on-words based on how Seals and Gresham want users to navigate through the app. First, a user views their community, then they look (or “zag”) through it. Vuzag creates a personal guide for the user’s city and is tailored to their interests based on a survey that’s taken when they sign up.
While at SMU, Gresham and Seals wanted to connect more with their local community, which sparked their inspiration for creating Vuzag. They envisioned a platform where they could get information on local events happening at that moment.
But after a natural disaster hit, the duo says the app’s purpose changed.
“When Hurricane Harvey hit, we saw the community coming around and banding together to help each other,” Seals told Dallas Innovates. “So we wanted to create a platform, an ecosystem, that is self-serving and helps everybody in the community.”
Vuzag’s homepage allows users to search everything from food to local events, with all of the personalized information condensed onto a single page. It also provides live updates, promotions, and original perspectives from local businesses.
The main feature of the app is the open invitation to a specific location from users and businesses. This feature allows a short video to be made that lets the community know what’s going on that day.
Instead of a timeline, the app has location-specific group chats designed for community communication. For example, there’s chats for universities, cities, and some businesses if you are within that location.
The app also has a reward system that hands out points based on users’ interaction with businesses. Users can purchase and unlock deals with points, which is “the overarching idea of Vuzag,” according to Gresham. “It’s a crowdsourced-search engine. The world is adding to this search engine, and we’re giving you rewards through points for building it.”
If you’re inside a restaurant, for example, you can take a picture of your food and post it. Then, anyone searching for that restaurant can see what customers are enjoying inside.
“We simply focus on representing a live snapshot of your local community,” Gresham says. “Then, we personalize that based on the way you interact with the platform.”
The main goal of Vuzag though, is to humanize businesses. “This platform changes the definition of advertising,” the duo says. “It’s simply one person talking to their community at that moment.”
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