connect / 2014

Meet angel: Your friendly app and ally to all things LA

Meet angel: Your friendly app and ally to all things LA

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Peace Allies

Your friendly app, angel, will be your personal connection to all things LA, uniting people in tourism, activism and community connections.


Please describe yourself.

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

Your friendly app, angel, will be your personal connection to all things LA, uniting people in tourism, activism and community connections.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

LA has unfortunately been known as one of the “UNFRIENDLIEST” cities in the U.S and in 2013 alone, was ranked #6. LET’S CHANGE THAT. This is where we come in, so meet angel.

angel is your friendly web/mobile app and ally that connects you with the ins-and-outs of LA. :::: connect tourists to activities and events :::: connect residents to each other and services :::: connect businesses to local customers

angel provides real-time geo-targeted, customized updates, alerts and guidance to businesses, tourists and residents. Businesses will be able to access local customers, tourist can discover LA easier and residents will engage other residents with things that matter to them most.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

(1) Begin App Creation Creating the app is an important stage.

(2) Begin Creating Buzz As we begin we will start creating buzz through social media and crowd funding sources

(3) Gather Strategic Partners We will begin accepting partners would want to be a part of the project. We will use this as a form of revenue generations as well as advertising purposes for our partners.

SAMPLE STRATEGIC PARTNERS :::: Local Businesses :::: Local Hotels :::: Local Property Management Companies

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CONNECT today? In 2050?

angel will provide: ~ locate a tour guide ~ meet local friends ~ (ask an angel) - question/answer database ~ (ask an angel) - video/webcam assistance (translation services, etc) ~ discover nearby points of interests ~ discover “best places” to live, work, play ~ find real time reviews of businesses, events, etc. ~ make suggests to local business to improve “friendliness” ~ meet nearby neighbor residents ~ communicate with nearby “angels” through app ~ real-time traffic info (sig alerts, detours, etc.) ~ community events ~ local volunteer opportunities ~ ability to rally neighbor support for causes ~ access resources for community projects ~ get emergency help from angels (stranded in LA, flat-tire, etc.) ~ receive rewards from local businesses ~ receive local government/council information ~ contribute to information on app to help increase usability ~ customize information you want for greater accuracy

More specifically angel will provide the following:

USER-CURATED User will be able to help with keeping LA up-to-date regarding latest news and updates

GEO-TARGETED Users will receive information that is target to them within a “x” mile radius thereby increasing local community engagement.

INSIDER ACCESS Tourist will truly be able to experience LA from an insider perspective and have access to tour guides as needed.

FOR TOURISTS Tourists will be able receive discounts to local businesses.

FOR BUSINESSES Businesses will be notified of users and will be able to offer discounts and rewards to users. Tourists will be able to connect with a LA guide and

FOR NEW RESIDENTS New residents will be able to know more about LA when they first move. (i.e. best places to work, live, find friends, etc.)

FOR ALL RESIDENTS Local residents will be able to rally other local residents behind community causes. Once “x” residents share the same vision for their local community, we suggest an organizer that will facilitate making the vision a reality for all local residents.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS Besides our web and mobile application, we can envision having outside kiosks in various places around LA that assist tourists and residents, who may not have access to internet or smart phones, to connect with local businesses and events. These kiosks can be located at malls, street-side and other venues.

Whom will your project benefit?

angel will benefit tourists, businesses, LA residents, governmental and political representatives seeking to be more involved in creating a friendlier LA as well as being more engaged in the community.

TOURISTS Tourism in LA is really an insider job and who better to do that than an Angel. The app will give you an real-time view of everything happening in LA and can users can find what interests them. If they want they can even find a local “angel” (tour guide) that can show them around LA.

Users can also video chat live with a local angels to help with translating signs in specific parts of LA (Chinatown, Koreatown, etc.)

BUSINESSES Business will be notified when users are nearby and can choose to offer special discounts. Users that also “like” the business receive periodic discounts and rewards as determined by the business.

NEW RESIDENTS New residents can easily connect with other users in their area. This will allow users to build friendships.

ALL RESIDENTS Residents will have an opportunity to help create a friendly LA by connecting with other local Angelenos about issues that matter to them. When a designated number of residents share the same vision, Angel will help to select an Organizer among the residence. Then Angel will connect the organizer to partner organizations to implement the vision. (i.e. creating a local dog park, developing a neighborhood watch, having cleaning streets.

GOVERNMENTAL REPRESENTATIVES Representatives will be able to use Angel to rally support behind agendas and initiatives. Angel will also serve as a digital signature when needed for polls and petitions for initiatives.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

We will partner will local organizations to help bring awareness to our project. Suggested partnerships are DiscoverLosAngeles.com and newspapers such as the LATimes. These partnerships bring their customer base to the table which is an added benefit to our project.

The three factors that are critical to success are: (1) Partner engagement to clientele (2) Clientele interest through partner (3) Mutually beneficial results for both us and partner

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open street gatherings (Dream Metric)
  • Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Our web/mobile application will increase social and civic engagement of tourists and local residents. When local officials are involved and have access to our database of users, they will be able to reach a wider audience, faster and more efficiently. We will also encourage friendships within “x” location thereby increasing their social media engagement.

Ultimately, we want LA to be a city that is more interconnected and intercultural than it has been .

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

We will measure success in the following ways: (1) Within six months we will have a working app (2) Within six months we will have a user base of at least 100,000 (3) Within six months we will have a partner base of at least 10,000 (4) We will have an advanced backend system that analyzes user satisfaction (tourists, businesses and residents). This will be in real time and users will be asked to provided solutions (not just feedback for what they don’t like). As solutions are provided, changes are made. We will create a “friendly” rating index system that allows us to know what users are experiences at every level. The rating index will measure how happy people are with their service of the app, local guides, service at local businesses, community happiness and so on.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE When we first moved to LA over six years ago, it was very difficult to know much about the city. At best, we would just walk around the neighborhood to see what was available. When we tried to find out more about the city from residents (where to live, eat, shop, etc.) it wasn’t very helpful. At lot of the comments we received were, “It depends on what you want to do/eat, etc.” We want a way that allows new Angelenos to get a clearer picture of the city anytime they choose and anywhere they are.

We also landed in Koreatown which is great place rich in culture but can be difficult at times if you don’t speak/read Korean. This is true in many other parts to LA. We want to help solve this challenge as well.

Also, understanding that LA can be a very difficult place to live “financially” as well as “socially”, we would invite residents over to our place for Thanksgiving if they didn’t have anywhere to go or they simply didn’t have food themselves. This was always a great experience and it would have been great to actually connect to these residence easier and even have a virtual database “friend list” to connect with them later.

Also, we like to connect with people and trying to do this was very difficult in LA unless you lived in the community for a while. We were constantly finding out about groups, events and activities after it occurred. We want a way that Angelenos can be more connected to each other.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Being a business owner in Los Angeles is also a unique environment and we are constantly trying to reach new customers. It would be great to connect with customers on a tangible need level. If we “knew” customers/residents were looking specifically for our service this would save a lot of money on advertising and procuring a customer.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

This project can be implemented in the next twelve months because creating the app is simply a matter of funding. Once we begin the development, we have a team of people ready to go with backgrounds in leadership, sales, advertising, and marketing.

Among our team, we have trusted connections that we will utilize thereby allowing us to build the project in a fast and sustainable way.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

First Barrier: Funding Funding is obviously the first barrier and the $100,000 will ease most of that burden. With our professional background, we understand that many unplanned expenses arise with new venture. We are proactively thinking about as many of those “unplanned” expenses now and what we would do about it. To ensure continuity of the project, we will immediately begin raising money from other sources such as personal and private donations. We will begin a crowd-funding campaign as well. We will build a revenue platform that allows us to receive funds from sponsors, advertising partners, revenue sharing/referral fees and other premium services through the project.

Second Barrier: Exposure We believe that every business has the challenge of exposure so we will immediately begin to garner support through social media and our network of connects. Among our group we are well connected to the business and entertainment world and will utilize this as a means of exposure. We also will begin a serious of PSA’s (Public Service Announcement) videos highlighting the project and it’s benefits to residences. We will also begin partnering with major travel companies

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Quality improvement research