April 25, 2014

Northeast Florida business profile

Town Wizard: The website and mobile app is branching out

Charlotte Crane | 3/8/2012

Town Wizard
Mike Ragsdale started his 30A.com website and mobile app as a hobby to help visitors to Santa Rosa Beach enjoy the scenic stretch of county road 30A. The guide highlights places to visit and eat, upcoming events and other details about the area. Then two of his friends, Jeff Armstrong and Darren Nelson, started similar mobile guides in Panama City and Destin — and soon their sidelines ballooned into a partnership, Town Wizard.

"People were asking, 'How can we get this in our community?' " says Armstrong, the company president. "That was sort of the light bulb that went off for us."

Town Wizard helps users set up websites for their own hometowns to streamline information about events, shops and scenic places. For a $795 startup fee plus $249 monthly, customers receive software and setup help, two apps to integrate with their website and ongoing technical or marketing support. Buyers can offset the cost by selling ads on the site.

By the close of 2011, some 15 months after its launch, Town Wizard had fostered 150 startups in 10 countries on five continents. Among its customers: Community-booster entrepreneurs in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Merida, Mexico.

Tags: Northeast

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