FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2019
Molly Bradford, Co-Founder and CEO, GatherBoard
GatherBoard Event Platform Launches App with University of Montana Support
Computer science students, Blackstone Launchpad help tech company fuel national expansion
MISSOULA, Mont. (May 1, 2019) – Tech startup GatherBoard has launched an app for their online event calendar platform, which includes the flagship site MissoulaEvents.net and 40 more calendars across the country, plus Canada and Mexico. The app will enhance the end-user experience by allowing calendar users to set preferences for their own custom event feed, integrate with other apps on their mobile device like voice calling, personal calendar, ride services and social media, migrate between the different ‘Boards and receive event notifications.
The app grew out of an invitation from the University of Montana’s Blackstone Launchpad and Small Business Development Center, which helps entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. GatherBoard received advice from Blackstone’s staff about how to solve a core customer problem, which led to the idea for an app built by UM’s Computer Science students’ capstone project that improves the calendar platform’s usability.
In a time where achieving an “experiential lifestyle” tops most people’s life-goals lists, and feelings of alienation, isolation and depression are increasing with excessive time spent on screens and social media, GatherBoard’s calendar software is rooted in the “Tech for Good” movement, implementing a free-standing community events calendaring platform that is designed to unite and strengthen communities facilitating real human connection. Event Listings are free to post and search, and everyone is invited to a GatherBoard calendar. The free-standing nature of the platform (versus a plugin on an existing site) makes it easier for multiple groups to collaborate on one successful community tool while connecting a feed to local sites and local media with multiple calendar feed options, and integrates an advertising tool for the license holder. The company was founded in 2009, and initially launched with sites in Missoula, Bozeman, Boise and the Flathead Valley. By February 2013, GatherBoard expanded to a half-dozen sites in Montana and the Northern Rockies. Today sites can be found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vancouver, BC, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Oaxaca Valley and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.
“Our app puts users first and helps them better manage their busy lives,” said Molly Bradford, CEO and co-founder of GatherBoard with fellow Missoulian Colin Hickey. “It provides more targeted audiences for those hosting events on the platform, and enables our company to begin to scale to larger markets, where until now, the sheer number of events happening on a single day could be overwhelming to calendar users. The curated ‘my feed’ has changed that.”
Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at UM, is a free service for UM students, staff, and faculty. They offer an experiential, campus-based program which introduces entrepreneurship as a viable career path and develops entrepreneurial skills and mindsets through personal coaching, idea creation, and venture implementation support.
UM’s capstone Computer Science students, led by Jordan Purinton, culminated the 2017-18 school year by creating an introductory version of the app that was tested on campus before officially launching for GatherBoard. Taking the campus-community connection and startup ecosystem one step further, GatherBoard partnered with fellow entrepreneur Nick Shontz, former employee of UM’s IT department and co-founder of GeoFli, a content replacement tool for website personalization and geotargeting, as their programmer and app project manager. The app was ready for Missoula testing by fall 2018, and now is available in all of GatherBoard’s markets through the iOS and Android app stores.
“I have enjoyed using the MissoulaEvent.net site for a couple of years now,” said Becky Coleman, owner of Fuel Montana Media. “I absolutely love the new app for it because I can now send invites to other people to events I think they’d enjoy, and I have easy access to directions to events. When my parents were in town watching my kids, I was able to send my mom three links to events for the kids to choose from. Before the app, this would have taken me about an hour to tell her the options for the day, talk her through getting to the website on the phone, and then sending her directions of where to go.”
GatherBoard is the calendar that puts you in charge. GatherBoard started as MissoulaEvents.net in 2005 and expanded to its current form in 2013. Today GatherBoard offers more than 40 licenses in North America. GatherBoard is a free-standing, customizable, monetizable calendar software platform that is ideal for mid-sized communities of similar interests, including geography, hobbies, or topics. GatherBoard’s calendar solution is used by media companies, educational institutions, economic and tourism districts, ad well as parenting groups, resort, and retirement communities. Learn more at www.gatherboard.com.