If you’d like to be able use your smartphone to discover all the fun things in Jacksonville that would appeal to your personal interests and tastes, there’s an app for that.
At least there will be in November when IntoGo launches.
IntoGo founder and CEO Zachary Schwartz describes the app for iPhone and Android platforms as a “new-age directory” that focuses on entertainment, events, dining, nightlife and outdoor activities and ignores professional services and news feeds.
“We filter out all the non-fun stuff,” he said.
The inspiration for IntoGo started years ago, Schwartz said, when his mother published guides for tourists in Indiana, Ohio and New York.
“She’d take me with her on sales calls and let me run through a store until they bought an ad,” he said.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in international business, Schwartz got a job in California, where he discovered the tech world.
Schwartz soon learned he didn’t really want to work for someone else so when Mom moved to Jacksonville in 2014, he decided to join her and let loose his entrepreneurial spirit.
His first app that made headlines was the “The City Guide.” It was an early version of the IntoGo concept and won the tech category at One Spark 2015.
The top prize of more than $16,000 helped start IntoGo at CoWork Jacksonville.
In July, Schwartz and his eight-member staff of software developers, data analysts and marketing pros moved into space on the ground floor of the Dyal-Upchurch Building at 6 E. Bay St.
The app, which will begin beta testing in about six weeks, combines features of several popular applications such as Tinder, Pandora, TripAdvisor and Yelp — but with a twist.
The first step for a user will be to complete a short personality quiz that helps the app tailor suggestions to his or her tastes and interests.
“It’s customized right out of the gate,” Schwartz said.
IntoGo can deliver suggestions based on type of activity, proximity, time and date. Over time it “learns” more about the user’s preferences through a proprietary process, Schwartz said.
The first edition of IntoGo will focus on North Florida, from Fernandina to south of St. Augustine.
“Our goal is for the app to have everything that’s fun and we want to help people explore their community,” said Schwartz.
Beta testing begins Oct. 7 and anyone who is interested in being among the first to try the app can register at intogo.com, he said.