While having a soy chai latte chat at Progress Coffee with Stephen Newman, the strategically savvy CEO of Mouth Watering Media, CultureMap Houston and CultureMap Austin (set to launch in Austin this Monday July 18th) I ran into my friend, René J. Pinnell, co-founder and chief executive of Hurricane Party, a group messaging mobile application. Rene shared with us that he’d recently launched the beta version of a new app called Forecast which was featured in The New York Times this week and that he’d just done a live interview on The Weather Channel earlier in the morning.
Forecast gives users the ability to check in hours before they arrive so people can coordinate future meet ups with their friends. It utilizes the check-in application Foursquare for locations.
Hurricane Party, touted as the Hottest Startup at SXSW 11, allows friends to find, share and create spontaneous parties. It acquired national acclaim during SXSW 2011 when it was used to rally 400 donors and raise over $17,000 for the horrific tsunami aftermath in Japan.
According to René, both apps are designed to make people be more social offline.
I am a fan of Hurricane Party not only because of their successful impromptu relief party for Japan during SXSW, but also because it allows local businesses to drive traffic that is both targeted and measurable. As an example, restaurants can spread the word about menu specials or an event that needs more guests. Hurricane Party is described as “the virtual ‘big red button’ that local businesses press when they need to boost traffic and sales.
The forecast is bright and HOT for clever marketers and nonprofits that find smart ways to utilize both apps for promotional and fundraising solutions.