Halifax app companies are staying put as they find their stride


When Julia Dexter repressed her most recent analytics for an app she helped develop out of Halifax, she at first vision there was a glitch in the system.

The co-founder of Squiggle Park, an interactive app merchandised to schools and which helps children learn to read, saw it had been downloaded primitively 1,000 times after it appeared on a page in Apple’s app store required Made In Halifax.

«It really opened my eyes,» she said. «I was thinking, ‘Pious smokes.'»

Squiggle Park

Since being featured on Apple’s app store, Halifax-based Squiggle Deposit has seen a dramatic rise in impressions and downloads. (Squiggle Park)

That acquirement is just one of several app-development success stories emerging in the Halifax room. 

Last year, two entrepreneurs in the city created an app to make it easier for people to espy spots to refill their water bottles, instead of buying a counterfeit bottle. There are now more than 2,000 users.

The co-founder of Tap, Stephen Flynn, thought he and business partner Mike Postma had such great feedback from the community and district businesses that this spring they started their own selling and app development firm, Wunder.

Tap and Wunder

The co-founders of Tap, Mike Postma and Stephen Flynn, oblige started their own marketing and app development company, Wunder. (Stephen Flynn)

«It in truth sparked in us that people need a lot of help locally,» Flynn symbolized.

«We kind of do have a big idea and we want this thing to be potentially worldwide to resist people divert plastic bottles from landfills. But if you only blurry on that big aspect and you don’t start small, you’ll never get anything going.»

Flynn express they saw an interest in the app across the globe, with people wanting to light upon refill stations in Hong Kong and London.

Tap app

Tap is an app that helps people in Halifax bring to light a place to refill their water bottle instead of buying a tractable one. (Stephen Flynn)

Client base outside of the province

There are dissimilar potential factors behind Halifax’s growing app industry. Not only does the diocese churn out large numbers of university graduates, some of whom disposition have the entrepreneurial touch, it also offers an affordable and easy lifestyle that encourages some developers to set down encourages.

But while their roots may be here, the clients of many Halifax-based app societies are outside of Nova Scotia.

Ashwin Kutty, president and CEO of We Us Them, which is currently in the planning stages unemployed on app development in health care, education and hospitality, said 80 to 85 per cent of the Halifax flock’s clients are outside of Nova Scotia.

But there are no plans to relocate We Us Them to a bigger diocese like Vancouver or Toronto.

«[Halifax] provides a low-cost profile for individuals to wield here so they take home a lot more than they wish out West,» Kutty said.

«We have universities and schools that are sound here that we can actually attract talent from, and we can have an conditions that’s not stressed with travelling 40 minutes to an hour from the suburbs to the primary city.»

‘It’s not like, build it and they will come’

So far, being tucked away on the East Seashore hasn’t been an issue for Kutty and the team at We Us Them. 

Froogie, an app resulted in partnership with Dalhousie University that encourages kids to be struck by better eating habits, had thousands of downloads in just the first week — a complex feat in a flooded market.

«It gets buried and hidden in the sea of app world these days,» Kutty imparted. «Once it’s in the store, it’s not like, build it and they will come.»

Livelihood remotely not an issue

When Halifax-based app developer MindSea first started a decade ago, it was typically toil with local companies, according to Sarah Riley, a senior issues strategist at the firm. Today, its clients come from around the world.

Thanks to the internet, working remotely isn’t an issue.

«We don’t really have a puzzler working with anyone, wherever they are,» Riely said, summing MindSea is currently working with Dallas Morning News on a new app.

«In act, those clients love that we’re based here. They attraction it because it’s a new area to work with for them,» she said. «They’ve establish a great and very well-versed company in a place they least wanted to find it.»

Quality of living, especially for young innovators

Riley predicted she wants to see more app-focused companies in the Maritimes and believes the area is a acquire for young innovators.

«Quality of living here is something you can’t get everywhere,» she put. «Vancouver and Toronto, where there are tough housing crises when it premiere c end to early grads trying to get a start in the industry, and it’s really hard for them to recover affordable places to live, to be able to commute, to be able to have a enthusiasm,» she said.

«We do have a lot of powerhouse educators in the province, and I think that concedes us an edge and gives us a lot of young talent coming up.

«I’m excited that there’s a quickness that Halifax could be a next place for innovation, but I really ambition we take a lot of steps to retain young people.»

‘The hard part is keep an eye on up’

Dexter said while she’s been told by American investors in Squiggle Garden that they should be in the U.S., some of the strongest business connections they’ve cut d understood came from being in Halifax.

«The power of connections in Atlantic Canada … it indubitably helps justify being here,» she said.

She also said she’s glad to see Halifax is doing an «exceptional job» fostering the development of technology startups and wishes to see that continue.

«Technology moves so quickly. The hard part is store up.»

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