November 3, 2011 in ATDC News

Startup Chronicles: We&Co

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Want to thank the neighborhood bartender that always pours the perfect pint? Or show some appreciation for your favorite barista or hairstylist? ATDC member We&Co has designed a new location-based mobile app that lets you give a public shout out to your favorite service industry professionals.

Launched in July, the free iPhone app allows users to positively rate employees while simultaneously giving businesses the opportunity to reward frequent customers with special perks or discounts.

“This is a way to engage the employees, not just the customer,” said Jared Malan, co-founder of the Atlanta-based startup. “It’s really about empowering service professionals to build their careers while also establishing relationships with the people that visit the most.”

It works like this: Open up the We&Co app to see all of the places and service pros around you. When you have a good service experience, you can thank the person behind it. If you don’t see the individual you want to acknowledge, simply add them. In addition, you can recommend your favorite mixologist to acquaintances via Facebook or Twitter, or discover the honest mechanic your friend praises.

By quantifying an employee’s value, the app could potentially help generate performance-based staff rewards and develop deeper connections between service professionals and the customers who expressed their gratitude.

“We see ourselves as being a tool for the businesses,” said Malan. “The hope is that a personal relationship with the people at a business — not just the place or the prices — will help generate more regulars. We also provide valuable data. We can tell a business who its best employees are, as well as the best customers.”

In the months since the soft launch, service professionals have been thanked in more than 50 countries. Now focused on the startup’s website, which is in private beta status, the five-person startup plans to utilize ATDC’s resources and technology guidance as they move into their next phase of growth.

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