New app out to help users crisscross the Crossroads on First Fridays in KC
Tom Jenkins and Chris Brown created intevli to help people navigate First Fridays in the Crossroads District.
But Jenkins and another Kansas Citian, Chris Brown, were having some problems navigating the monthly art walk. There was a lack of accessible information about First Fridays, like where one could find parking and which venues were participating.
Brown, an attorney, said he was at a cold and rainy First Friday in February with his wife, who couldn’t leave the event she was hosting. Brown wanted to “go explore” but didn’t know where to go or what to do.
“I live and work downtown, but even I found it hard to figure out where to go. I said, ‘There should be an app for this,’ but there wasn't one,” Brown (left) recalled. “A very similar situation happened again in March, so I set out to do something about it.”
With the help of Jenkins, who had also noted some recurring problems with the event, Brown created intevli, an interactive event-mapping app tailored specifically for First Fridays.
The app maps venues — art galleries, restaurants, boutiques, entrepreneurs and even parking — participating in First Friday, categorizes them and provides some information about each one, like hours of operation on First Friday and what will be featured at each location. The app also allows users to filter out certain categories.
Jenkins, who is vice president of technology at Adcuda, created the app while Brown worked on the business and marketing side of it.
Jenkins (left) said he and Brown are “overwhelmed” by the responses they have received so far but plan to continue improving the interface based on feedback from users.
Another goal, Brown said, is to get more entrepreneurs involved with First Fridays to showcase what they are doing to the general population. The app’s launch was supported and marketed by Think Big Kansas City, which hosts the Entrepreneur Corner at First Fridays.
“We are talking to co-working spaces and other small business spaces to encourage them to showcase local startup entrepreneurs,” Jenkins said. “It takes a village, and we'd like to make that village as large as possible.”
While the pair said they have not made specific plans to scale the app for other events, it has been discussed.
“As we went through the process of creating the app, we realized that the problems we were seeing weren't isolated to First Fridays,” Jenkins said. “Any event that takes place over a large geographical area could benefit from a similar approach.”