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connect / 2014

MY CITY

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Dumlao Enterprises

My City is a web & mobile app that provides curated & personalized tours for travelers by Los Angeles locals.


Please describe yourself.

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

My City is a web & mobile app that provides curated & personalized tours for travelers by Los Angeles locals.

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?

MyCity is a web & mobile app that bridges Travelers with local Tour Specialists. Mass commercialized tours are prevalent as a one-size fits all solution. MyCity democratizes commercialized tours by providing Travelers curated & personalized tours based on the Traveler’s interests. Tour Specialists will provide curated tours that would be exciting & engaging for the Travelers. Tour Specialists can also offer transportation & lodging by linking existing accounts with AirBnb, Uber, or similar apps. We would incorporate social networking as a tool to bridge Travelers & Tour Specialists based on mutual interests & friends. Users can create profiles on themselves & what makes LA special - from lists of their favorite restaurants to beaches.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

To implement this idea, we will first develop the mobile app so that it is accessible, aesthetically pleasing & easy to use. As a User Experience / User Interface Designer & Developer, Ray has experience in designing & building small-scale to large-scale consumer & enterprise applications, which will help with the development of the technology.

Once we have a working product, we will then start marketing the product & build our user base. Mitchel is experienced in video marketing & digital content, which will help promote the product to LA locals & tourists, & make it easy for users to understand the capabilities & benefits of using MyCity. Also, we will reach out to the tourism department of LA to get support from the city & help bring more revenue to local businesses & residents.

Technically, we would implement this project by using a leading edge tech stack for both web & mobile application. Since Ray is also a full-stack engineer, we can rapidly deploy this on a Ruby on Rails stack which can include Node.JS, PostgresSQL, & Backbone.JS front-end. Alternatively, we’re open to using a different tech stack such a Go, Erlang, Scala, etc. For mobile development, we can deploy using Android & Swift. We have many options.

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

MyCity can help make LA the best place to connect today by bridging Tourists with Angelenos in more deep & diverse experiences around the city. Locals will have the ability to share their favorite places in LA & give travelers a more immersive experience with the city. This type of interaction between tourists & locals would provide breadth that brings more awareness about the local areas in Los Angeles that mass commercialized tour packages & buses do not do. Thus, promoting small LA businesses to eager travelers & connecting tourists with the city’s diverse cultures & communities.

Whom will your project benefit?

MyCity would benefit Angelenos & anyone living in Los Angeles. Angelenos would make money as Tour Specialists by providing phenomenal & personalized experiences to Travelers. Additionally, locals can also pair up with other locals who have new ideas to share, since there’s always something new that Angelenos can learn from each other about this city.

Angelenos & Locals would also benefit by making money full time or part time by rendering their services as Tour Specialists. Also, tourists would benefit immensely from this app by getting diverse & personalized tours of Los Angeles through the simplicity of a mobile app - as well as the opportunity to meet new friends. This in turn benefits Los Angeles by bringing in more tourism into the city & helping local businesses. Though, just as important as generating revenue in LA, we are showing travelers from around the world a deeper & more authentic look of the City of Angels.

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

Mitchel Dumlao has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 9 years & is currently running his own digital marketing & video production company. Mitchel has experience with developing & creating media content, as well as working with companies & individuals with marketing their goods & services through videos & Youtube. Mitchel currently owns Dumlao Enterprises and is focused on helping small businesses, artists, and young entrepreneurs market their goods and services through video content and digital media. Mitchel’s work can be viewed on http://www.mitcheldumlao.com/

Ray Dipasupil is a Design Engineer who specializes in UX (user experience) & UI (user interface) for web & mobile. He’s worked with organizations such as The City of Los Angeles, The Walt Disney Company & Warner Music Group, & currently works with Rovi (http://www.rovicorp.com/) as a UX Design Engineer. He’s also a Front-End Web Development & UX/UI Instructor with General Assembly (https://generalassemb.ly). Ray’s work can be viewed on http://www.raysspl.com/

Both partners are confirmed & we have worked together in the past. Mitchel has entertainment & marketing experience to help with creative development & promoting the project through digital & traditional content. Ray has certifications & experience in the technology field, which are essential for developing a mobile app. Ray & Mitchel has known each other for over 5 years.

The 3 factors that are critical to the success of our proposed collaboration are:

  • Ray has a deep understanding of new technologies & design, which is crucial in developing a mobile app.
  • Mitchel has experience in digital marketing & entertainment, which is greatly needed when promoting the product & growing the user base.
  • We are both in tune with today’s trends in the technology, business, & entertainment industries, which will make sure that our app is not only innovative but also has the potential of being very successful.

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

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Number of public transit riders
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located within a half-mile of transit) (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of social media friends (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open street gatherings (Dream Metric)

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

Rates of volunteerism will rise since locals will be driven to clean up their communities and neighborhoods to attract tourists. Adults will get sufficient social and emotional support due to the social networking aspect of the app, allowing adults to connect with other adults and share their experiences with Los Angeles with outsiders and locals. Tourists will attend more cultural events since tour specialists will want to include these type of exciting activities in their itineraries. Users of the app will be compelled to explore the city and will use public transportation to fully immerse themselves in the experience. My City aims to expose tourists to parts of LA that are otherwise unknown to travelers, thus giving small neighborhoods the opportunity to gain more business by promoting their communities on the app. Users of the app would join neighborhood councils to create marketing campaigns to attract more tourists to their community. My City will give locals a chance to make money part or full time, without having to drive to or have an office. Thus users are able to work from home and not have to worry about transit. The social networking aspect of the app will also help generate more social media friends. Tourists will attend more public/open street gatherings as part of tours.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

We will measure success in terms of active users (travelers & tour specialists), month-to-month growth, quarterly growth, year-to-date (YTD), customer satisfaction, & quality of product.

We will focus on design & functionality. We will also have friends & family use & evaluate the app to make sure it’s a user friendly product. At the same time, we will also consult with our colleagues & business professionals to analyze the project & ensure that our app is both innovative & viable.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

Traveling abroad & not having the ability to speak the language or explore foreign cities with a local to get a more authentic experience.

The idea of contingent work & allowing regular people to transfer money between each other like AirBnB & Uber, creating more opportunities to curb unemployment.

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

It’s highly likely that we can build & deploy this app within a span of 6-7 months, while using the remaining 5-6 months fine tuning the details & making any adjustments based on market demand. Ray brings the business, technical, & design know-how, while Mitchel has experience in digital marketing & organizational growth, thus making sure that a quality product is made & is marketed properly.

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

Challenges that we participate:

  1. Engineering & design costs spiraling out of hand.
  2. Competitors creating similar products.

Our strategy is to build & manage an effective & talented team while constantly monitoring our costs. We will be running lean & agile methodologies to help stay on track. We will also keep up to date with tech & business news to ensure that there’s no similar products being made concurrently with ours.

What resources does your project need?

  • Network/relationship support
  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Community outreach