Venice is getting an ‘app’
The official city of Venice “app” will officially be unveiled by Mayor John Holic at the public launch party at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at City Hall.
“It will be one of the first city apps in the Gulf Coast region,” said Jim Foubister, who created the app with partner Raj Dorisamy. Together they own Your Custom Apps, 678 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, and are providing the service for free.
Apps — applications — are programs available to owners of smartphones and tablets. Eighty percent of the public between the ages of 18 and 30 have smartphones. The city of Venice app will provide a means of relaying important information to citizens about council actions, city events and safety alerts in emergencies.
“I wanted my hometown to be one of the first in this area to get an app” said Foubister, who came up with the idea and approached Holic. His company is working with Pam Johnson, city marketing and communications officer, to help the city join the smartphone revolution.
“We are so excited to be one of the first cities to have an app to share information with the whole community,” said Johnson. “Smartphone users will be able to get news about Venice wherever they are — Germany, Australia, worldwide.
At the launch, Foubister will outline the benefits of the app. He plans to hold meetings to explain the process of downloading and sharing the app so people can benefit from the free service.
The city will send Foubister an email with information to be disseminated and he will put it out via the app. You can arrange for your smartphone or tablet to vibrate or beep to alert you when new information is posted.
One of the project developers has created a feature allowing the user to tap on an event listed on the app screen and have it automatically sync with the user’s calendar, said Foubister.
The app will be financed by Your Custom Apps, which will retain ownership of two additional sections of the app, titled Living in Venice and The Deals in Venice, providing advertising opportunities for local businesses. This makes it possible for the city not to incur any costs in the project. There will be no advertising on the city pages.
Your Custom Apps has plans for future applications for businesses and governmental organizations, including schools, specifically enabling them to better use technology to promote education.
Foubister is a graduate of Venice High School who studied theology at Southeastern University in Lakeland, then attended Chicago Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Returning to Venice this year, he chose to go into business and his first idea was to build an app for the city.
His business partner has been developing mobile technology since 2004 and has introduced lots of apps. They employ six local people as developers creating apps and for administration and employ one outside salesperson. Call 941-315-8277.