Launch Party – 10 Years of Calgary Startups

Yesterday marked the 10th Annual Startup Launch Party – Hosted by Startup Calgary. For the last 10 years,  Startup Calgary has been helping promote local innovators and their efforts to showcase future disruptors and give them a platform to help start their businesses and rally support from locals.

Launch Party is always a great time, but this year was something special – 10 years and they did not disappoint. Year after year, it has grown – but this year showed a staggering improvement. There were more companies, more startups, more support networks, and more attendees than any previous year I have seen. The hosts did a great job arranging the venue to promote a casual relaxed atmosphere while still focusing on what is important – networking and business promotion.

I was able to wander around, meet people both new and old and never did I feel like it was to crowded or cluttered, but more importantly I didn’t fee like it was empty either. It was bustling – much like Calgary’s entrepreneurs and startup ecosystem. I for one look forward to next year.



 

Mobile App Development Solutions by Terraform Wins GoodFirms Recognition

GoodFirms appreciated Terraform for its outstanding mobile app development & DLT services.

About Terraform

 

Terraform has been showcasing expertise in developing apps since 2009, and the founder holds experience of working in technology for over 20 years. 

 

The company prioritizes offering web app and mobile app development services to its clients in both native as well as hybrid languages.

 

Terraform provides excellent business solutions on a large scale, whether it is for a client, a team of clients, or a big creative idea to make global.

 

Being the best app development company in Calgary, Terraform helps its clients by turning their mobile app idea into an expertly developed handheld reality.

 

The panel of expert app developers and technicians assist clients in framing a strategy that will set-up their app for success, providing them with an outstanding app to upscale their businesses.

 

Terraform has experience of working with clients ranging from startups like Lease Locator Oilfield and medium businesses like Zomongo to huge enterprises like Surerus Murphy Joint Venture. The company also provides services in the oil and gas sectors among others.

 

The skilled and brilliant workforce at the company has experience of working in project transitions and recovery. The developers at the company proficiently collaborate for projects with startup developers and companies, correcting issues and releasing the app to the market.

 

Terraform holds expertise in the IT industry targeting app development services along with web & software development, app & web designing, maintenance & support, big data & BI, cloud computing, IoT development services, and excellent DLT solutions.

 

https://www.terraformcorp.com/

GoodFirms Research Methodology

 

GoodFirms is a well-known online B2B organization that connects the IT service seekers to the service provider companies. The talented and experienced analysts at the firm carry out their research process by analyzing the companies that desire to be recognized as a top service provider companies based on three vital parameters, which are Quality, Ability, and Reliability. The companies are further scrutinized by analysts based on their market penetration, client satisfaction records, and overall experience gained in their respective domain. The companies that fulfill all the criteria mentioned above are added in the list of top IT service provider companies.

 

Likewise, GoodFirms also analyzed Terraform and found the company to be delivering prominent mobile app development DLT development companies. 

Acknowledged by GoodFirms

 

GoodFirms endorsed Terraform for its exemplary mobile app development & distributed ledger technology development services.

Mobile App Development Services

 

Terraform holds pride in mentioning mobile app development as their forte.

 

The company holds experience in developing apps on both Android as well as iPhone platform.

 

The expert app developers in the company have built dozens of apps for iPhone and Android with clients across Alberta. 

 

One of the clients has shared their delightful review of mobile app development services by the company.

 

This development has evolved Terraform to be ranked among the top mobile app development companies in Calgary at GoodFirms.

 

Distributed Ledger Technology

 

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is one of the evolving technologies that are becoming an essential platform for businesses to provide new value and expand their operations. 

 

The panel of skilled and proficient experts at Terraform is always excited about new software technologies- DLT being one of them.

 

The experts at the firm implement various projects ranging from mining multiple cryptocurrencies to setting up an online ripple portal. They also excel at creating mobile integrations.

 

The brilliant and skilled workforce at the company vigorously implements logic to provide their clients with new sources of revenue and data. The panel also offers a backbone architecture for all sorts of distributed apps (dApps) ranging from games to data storage. The professionals at Terraform ensure AI integrations form a collective state of knowledge and experience.

 

With the agile development of IoT, DLT’s provide an appropriate source for devices to engage over the network to proffer a means of microtransactions along with distributed storage and computing power. The trained experts at the company realize that authorization and identity management can also be managed effortlessly through DLT’s. 

 

The developers at the company create DLT’s that provide a means of automation in the flow of various quantifiable commodities and their transactions.

Specific examples explain the application of DLT by Terraform more clear. 

TERRAFORM and Oilfield Lease Locator: a case of app success.

TERRAFORM has worked with Oilfield Lease Locator app to find a solution to the complicated oilfield mapping system.

Field operations in the oil and gas industry have always used a complicated and proprietary address mapping system. For modern workers used to the ease of Google maps, it became clear to the client that the current system was outdated. Lease Locator team wanted to modernize the way workers found sites in the field to allow them to be more efficient, as well as making day to day life a little easier. 

In order to create the ideal solution, TERRAFORM  – app development and consulting had to figure out what the exact pain points of the Lease Locator users were. The current mapping system was complicated and time consuming, and even after finding the location, figuring out how to get there was still sometimes a challenge. The Lease Locator app needed to make the old system work like a current mapping app. One that could instantly pinpoint a location, provide driving instructions on how to get there, and allow access even in remote areas with no internet service. From identifying these key issues, the solution of Lease Locator was born in partnership with TERRAFORM.  A database consisting of over 20 million data points was created allowing users to find every single location across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Users can search for a destination with their choice of formats, and allow Google or Apple to give you directions within Google and Apple Maps. All locations are stored in a user’s history and can be recalled at any time, making it convenient to compare distances or revisit previous destinations. 

The Lease Locator app has 27,000 active users and hosts over 8,000 users daily. The app was also rated in the top 10 business apps in the Google Play store for Canada in 2018 / 2019.

Goole Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.terraform.lsdlocate&hl=en_CA

Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/lease-locator-for-oilfield-lsd/id979072311

Kicking off 2019 with an Exclusive Award: Terraform Tops Development Industry

As the TERRAFORM team enters another year of helping create strategies and solutions for our clients, we’re excited to share that we’ve earned some recognition for our commitment to creativity and sustained high-quality success. In rounding up the best of the best in Canada across different industries, B2B research and reviews firm Clutch gave TERRAFORM a spot on the list of premier software developers.

 

Clutch ranks companies based on individual evaluations of market presence, prior experience in the field, and client testimonials, among other aspects of internal operations, so we are very proud to have earned a place among the leading development firms in the country. 

 

“The award credited to TERRAFORM – app and software developer, means appreciation for our great effort to build our community and business and, to help our clients be successful,”.

Beyond our software skills and client service, here is some feedback directly from customers we’ve had the pleasure of working with: 

 

TERRAFORM is really responsible and solves bugs and other issues. Because of the third-party provider, we had a bit of a rough start. The project has improved a lot thanks to TERRAFORM’s efforts,” shared one client. “If I ever have a problem, I can call them and they fix it right away.”

 

Their personality stands out. They’re outgoing, easy to talk to, and easy to follow up with,” praised a second. “Overall, they’ve addressed any questions that have come up. Change orders were also done in a timely manner, which was also good.”

 

Our presence as one of many strong web development companies in Calgary was also noted by The Manifest. A business news website that shares insight and knowledge regarding different trends and industries, The Manifest stands as a sister company to Clutch with equally rigorous evaluation and scoring mechanisms, so Terraform is very excited to have our range of capabilities highlighted.

 

Terraform is confident that our legacy of sharing strong, successful software solutions with clients will only continue to increase in this upcoming year and years to come. Given past trends, it’s clear that the number of apps produced in 2019 will only grow. We’re excited to take on new challenges, and if you want a partner for your next big mobile strategy project, our team is here to help.

Tinder’s New Feature Takes A Creepy Turn

Tinder has a new feature that reveals they know a lot more about their users than they let on. The new algorithm is turned on by a toggle switch called ‘Smart Photos‘. It then begins testing photos, alternating through them, to see which one gets the best results. In testing this has ended with up to 12% more matches. But here is where it gets really interesting: If the profile picture that gets the best results is of a person wearing glasses, but a user looking through profiles usually swipes left on people in glasses, it will show them the most popular photo of that person without the glasses on.

This is a bit of a breakthrough for people wondering exactly how much data the dating app calculates on its users. Tinder has been notoriously quiet about what data it collects, and while it’s assumed they take the usual statistics into account, they have never revealed they watch and dissect what each user swipes right or left on. This new feature proves they do in fact have algorithms on every single action every one of their users makes.

So what exactly can the data Tinder is gathering be used for, beyond helping everyone find out which profile picture gets the most suitors excited? One of the easiest channels to exploit is advertising, and knowing what a target market likes and dislikes is pretty attractive to anyone wanting to spend money on the platform. Who know what other data they are collecting and what it could be used for in the future, but all signs point to it going far beyond finding the best match for your next hook-up.

Hinge Just Transferred Existing Users to Their New App

HInge

Hate your existing app but don’t want to lose your user base by developing a new one? No problem! Hinge, a Tinder-like dating app that followed the swipe left or right format has just launched Hinge 2.0 – which is completely different than the original concept. It’s now about relationships, commitment, and a paid subscription… and they are betting on users sticking around after the free trial period is up.

Hinge launched in 2013 with the then unique concept of only connecting users with common friends discovered through Facebook. It had the same swiping functions that made Tinder so popular, but narrowed the field to people that might have already crossed paths before. Soon after all the other similar dating apps followed suit, adding in the common connections feature that once made Hinge stand out. With this feature adoption Hinge just became one of many freemium dating apps in a big messy market.

Last year Vanity Fair published an article slamming the current state of dating, and while many felt the article showed a fuddy-duddy attitude towards the millennial way of hooking up, Hinge CEO Justin McLeod took note of the mentality. In December he decided something needed to change with Hinge, in a big way. McLeod rebuilt the app’s entire engineering team, and focused all the company’s efforts on the new launch, to the detriment of Hinge’s original format.

Hinge 2.0 launched today, and it plans on taking the remaining existing users along for the ride. People have been receiving notice of the change over for two weeks now, but the big test will be to see if millennials will actually pay for a dating app, something they are not used to forking out cash for. Hinge now requires a $7/month subscription for the service, a fee that the company hopes narrows the market down to people who are really serious about finding a relationship and not just having a laugh.

Hinge has also updated the complete look of the app, and the way people interact on it. They have eliminated swiping completely and instead allow for more conversation points in a persons profile, which they call a story. This new story looks similar to Instagram, where people can post photos along with generated questions and answers, and interested connections can comment on them. In beta testing Hinge says this new format has resulted in 7x more numbers being exchanged between users.

It’s an interesting model as Hinge 2.0 is really nothing like the original app users agreed to download. Of course, both are dating applications, but the similarities really stop there. It’s a gamble Hinge is willing to take, and they have the luxury of reaching thousands of people directly, so why not? It’s really a genius way to have people consume a new product without having to do the work to acquire the initial user base.

It’s yet to be seen if the users Hinge has transitioned over to this completely new format will stick around, or will be turned off by the subscription fee. The company hopes that the potential higher success rate will draw users in who are looking for a more serious relationship. One roadblock they will face in terms of growth is that apps like Tinder have a higher download rate because it’s non-committal. We will soon see if millennials are ready to spend money to find a more substantial idea of love.

Launch of Robinhood Gold Reveals Important Lesson

robinhood gold

You do not have to monetize a mobile app immediately. In December of 2014 Robinhood, a stock trading app, launched on the market promising to never charge commissions. Nearly two years after their successful foray into the app world, and around 1 million users, they have announced a new premium feature called Robinhood Gold, which charges users $10/month for additional features. This expansion into the monetary branch of mobile apps is an excellent case study for anyone looking at launching their own app.

Robinhood gained their impressive network of users through a lot of knowledge and hard work. It was founded by two Stanford grads who had built high tech trading alternatives for big hedge funds. The basis of the app was that it should appeal to people just getting their feet wet in the stock market, because it allows users to trade stocks without paying any fees. Other companies with similar applications charge anywhere from $7-$70 per trade, depending on various charges and commission.

The sleek design and amazing user experience was also an important factor to reel in users. Having a great concept and bettering their competitors was a way to get people to download the app, but the user experience kept them there, creating loyal followers. After assessing nearly 2 years of data Robinhood discovered that anywhere between 10%-20% of their user base was more experienced traders, and they saw an opening to monetize without compromising on their founding promise of never charging commission on trades.

This past week Robinhood Gold launched. For $10/month users who upgrade to this paid subscription will get a plethora of features. Gold users have better trading hours, which include before the stock market opens and after it closes. They also get access to an additional $2000 of credit (if there is $2000 already in the account), and they get to skip the 3 day waiting period for deposits and reinvestments. This Gold membership provides more experienced traders with features they really want, for a fee that they can afford. Also, with the name being ‘Gold’, it gives the people who invest in the subscription a level of prestige, which after all, is what most stock traders are chasing.

The massive takeaway for new developers and anyone with a great app idea is that you don’t have to monetize immediately. Get it all right first. Grow a user base first. Make sure you have all the working components functioning seamlessly first. Once you have the app working and people loving it, you can then make changes. In fact, as with the Robinhood app, you may even be praised for this change as it could offer your user base something they actually want. The side effect is simply that you can get paid handsomely for that upgrade.

Location Sharing App Gets Huge Investment from Benchmark

zenly

If you think Google Maps and Facebook have the lock down on digital maps and location sharing, think again. French company Zenly just confirmed they have received $22 million in series B funding, largely in part from American angel investors Benchmark. The money is going to be used to open an office in San Francisco over the next few weeks and support product development. The investment is a big deal because it’s a departure from the usual American only investments; often forcing companies from other countries to move to the USA before receiving funding.

Location sharing has been attempted before but hasn’t caught on to the extent that companies like FourSquare had hoped. Zenly has been successful, particularly with teens, because of the ability to see where your friends are and who they are with simply by tapping on their profile. Zenly knows where the hot spots are before any other app simply because of GPS trending in your friend group. The app currently has 2 million users in 186 countries.

There are also social aspects to Zenly, which further engages the teen audience. They have added emoji’s as an update, and it’s easy to send an emoji ping to any friends on the app. Some emojis have specific purposes like telling the other person you are running late, and others are just for fun. The usefulness of the app goes beyond voyeurism when you are looking for a friends exact location at a festival or in an unfamiliar location. The location algorithm Zenly has put together is very precise and generally accurate.

One of the biggest hurdles of location sharing has been the drain on battery usage, and Zenly has worked on an effective solution over the past couple years. Location tracking is only enabled when another user or friend tracks you, so there isn’t constant battery drain on your device. Also as they expand, the map data building will be a challenge as the company is going up against the big dogs like Google, Apple, and Uber.

The big test now for Zenly is to see how they can do in North America, where people have seemed disinterested with location sharing for some time. They key to success will be with the teen demo, some of whom will have never even heard of apps like foursquare. If Zenly is successful at reaching this audience they could be the next big social media platform.

Driver’s Education App Raises $4 Million in Funding

aceable

Now more than ever people are wanting the convenience of doing what they want, whenever they want it. Online and app courses are gaining widespread popularity as people adjust to work and learn from home attitudes, and thanks to one mobile startup, this mentality now applies to driving education.

More and more drivers are relying on their phones to guide them, and with the launch of Aceable, this now extends to those learning to drive. The app initially raised $4.7 million in seed funding to develop the app in 2015, and has now delivered another $4 mil in series A funding after following through with a successful plan.

The key to the success for Aceable can be attributed to focusing on a totally new education space for technology learners. The tech-ed platform tends to be crowded, which is not saying a start up can’t improve on a targeted space. However entering an area not touched gives first in advantage.

The biggest hurdle for the app will be the approval process for states which don’t currently allow digital courses. But that list is diminishing as technology and app courses become commonplace. The company plans on expanding and developing curriculum beyond driving in the next year.

Huge Milestone for Local Alberta App

Lease Locator App

A local Calgary app has just hit a huge milestone, and we wanted to send our congratulations to the team responsible for its creation. Oilfield Lease Locator has hit ten thousand downloads. This is a huge milestone, just ask any local app developer, and one that deserves to be celebrated.

Efficiently locating leases has been an ongoing issue in the oil and gas industry, as GPS tools aren’t ideal because coordinates can’t be directly converted. Since everyone is now using Google Maps on their phones, employees were manually converting coordinates and then navigating to that general area through their mobile devices. This often lead to frustration because the location wasn’t accurate.

Oilfield Lease Locator is a simple solution as it converts LSD, NTS, UTM, and latitude/longitude inputs and then opens up in Google Maps directly on a worker’s device. The app accesses a database of over 20 million data points- essentially saving time and money. When Terraform came on-board with the team looking to develop Oilfield Lease Locator we knew it was a problem many people out in the field were experiencing, and we excited to be a part of the solution.

Companies struggling with wasted time, frustrated employees, and hard to navigate systems have saved face by using this solution based app. Available on all devices it is free to use for up to ten searches a month, or a $9.99 yearly subscription fee for unlimited searches. You can download Lease Locator on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.