The Innovation Connector team believes connection drives innovation. So when Executive Director Ted Baker was introduced to Kyle Parker and Mark Caravello and learned of their mobile app The Traveler, he knew there were resources available that could help their business succeed.
Kyle told Ted his story of how The Traveler started as a prototype that he developed with a group of students at Ball State University. The Traveler is an integrated mobile app and website that creates an immersive and digital journal of cherished memories for travelers who struggle to capture, organize, and share their travel experiences. The app gained recognition from Samsung when Kyle was invited to the Sprint Developer Conference in San Jose, California, then later from Google and Motorola. This idea had gone from a mere idea to worldwide in a matter of months!
Kyle and Mark certainly knew their way around technology but had many questions about business planning and development.
“From our first encounter with Ted and his team, they were very welcoming, and Ted jumped right in to answer our questions about developing our business,” stated Kyle. “He helped us make connections and put us in touch with the resources we needed to focus our sights on growth and success.”
Ted invited Kyle to learn more about business development by attending the BIG Idea Pitch competition training camps. These training camps taught Kyle and Mark how to position their app to potential clients, how to create revenue, and refining their idea to put into a 3-minute pitch. It also connected them to people in the community and other like-minded entrepreneurs, even introducing them to an iOS developer who would later help them pursue commercial clients and additional business ventures.
“Kyle and Mark are the kind of entrepreneurs the Innovation Connector is equipped to help,” stated Ted We were able to connect them to needed resources both locally, regionally and nationally. Their involvement in the BIG Idea Pitch and the Excellence in Innovation Awards was really a showcase of the talent in the Muncie community and what can actually happen when entrepreneurs connect to the resources of the Innovation Connector. We will continue to assist The Traveler and provide them with as many opportunities as we can for them to be successful.”
Since placing 4th in the BIG Idea Pitch competition in 2016, The Traveler has continued adding new features to the app and website. Mark and Kyle are working to make the app as user friendly as possible from onboarding users and introducing them to the functionality of the app to sharing photos with family and friends.
From connections made at the BIG Idea Pitch, Kyle and Mark have partnered with Downtown Muncie Development and the Orientation program at Ball State University for marketing the app to visitors and parents of BSU students, allowing them to take tours of the area, showing them where landmarks, businesses and restaurants are located. It will also allow them to promote community events like concerts at Canon Commons or plays at Muncie Civic Theatre. Kyle and Mark continue to find ways to utilize this app in the community, connecting with Barb Quandt Underwood who has ties with the travel industry and other travel groups in the area. These organizations and groups can share their photos and experiences directly on the website www.mytravelerapp.com for friends, family, and fellow travelers to see!
“It has been such a valuable learning experience to work with the Innovation Connector. Our business would not be where it was today without their help,” said Kyle Parker.
The Traveler is available today for both iOS and Android – with more features planned for the coming months!