To anyone struggling to pick a place on date night, Richard Helppie-Schmieder and Shayne Hickey feel your pain.
The Dallas-Fort Worth locals were once swapping ideas on where to take their wives for an evening out when they said they noticed there wasn’t a comprehensive place on the Interweb that displayed a list of deals going on in the area.
That realization manifested into a more robust concept of how local businesses could advertise to the community, and vice versa, especially during traditional happy hour times.
And eventually, that evolved into what the duo calls a “revolutionary new app.”
Instahap launched last month on iOS and Android as an application that allows local businesses to post their specials. It instantly provides users with all the hot happenings (get it) in their area, from weekly deals and happy hours to live music events and trivia nights.
But it’s beneficial for businesses, too. Featuring a robust offering of places—coffee shops, boutique fitness studios, comedy clubs, bars—Instahap also provides a platform for owners to creatively reach new customers.
“Local businesses have signed up with Instahap to get their business on the app,” Helppie-Schmieder and Hickey told Dallas Innovates in an email. “We created the platform (the Instahap application), and the businesses provide the content.”
After a ‘hotspot’ signs up on the app, Instahap’s technology provides a merchant portal to enter any corresponding deals that can be updated regularly. Then, the platform recommends somewhere for consumers to go—divided into four categories—based on their location.
There’s also partnership model with the businesses: Instahap will frequently offer users “giveaways” if they visit a certain place.
Instahap said there are more than 200 local spots on the app, including BuzzBrews, The Henry, Vidorra, STIRR, Native Coffee, Hub Streat, and more. Since the company is based in North Texas, it currently only offers deals here, but the team does have “big plans” for the future.
“There are so many new, local, and exciting businesses happening here, this was the place to start,” Helppie-Schmieder and Hickey said. “We plan to be a nationwide user app. We want Instahap to be an app you can’t imagine not having.”
The team said users could be community based or out-of-towners, as long as they’re interested in exploring.
“An example of where we see Instahap going is, we want our traveling users to be able to use this from city to city,” the co-founders said, “giving them an authentic local business experience they might not have otherwise found.”
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