Blacksburg Company Creates Map Apps; No Refolding Required – Roanoke.com

Nomad Mobile Guides, originating with NewCity, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company, was featured in the Roanoke Times.

Funded by angel investors, Nomad Mobile Guides sells its software platform to travel publishers and marketers to create maps and travel tips for mobile devices.

This screenshot from an iPhone shows Nomad Mobile Guides' app to the Great Smoky Mountains.

 

This screenshot from an iPhone shows Nomad Mobile Guides' app to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Blacksburg-made software will lighten backpacks this fall hiking season.

The Great Smoky Mountains Association, publisher of various guides and maps to the national park, recently began to sell the same material formatted for a mobile device.

People who buy the app want their maps and tips with them in camp or on the trail without the bother of carrying paper travel guides or material printed from the Web.

Technology developed in Southwest Virginia makes the mobility possible.

Nomad Mobile Guides Inc. has created an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch application that adapts published works for mobile viewing.

It has teamed up with only a few publishers so far, but investors have supplied the company its first round of angel financing on the belief that demand could expand.

Blacksburg-based New City Media Inc. built the technical guts of the company in its innovation lab and spun off Nomad Mobile Guides seven months ago.

New City Media, which now calls itself NewCity, is a 15-year-old creative services company whose clients include Virginia Tech and The Roanoke Times. The spinoff illustrates how a services firm can create a product-based company leanly.

The popular desire to do more with mobile devices such as cellphones, smartphones and tablets drives the company's business plan. Purchasing one of the apps requires a few clicks at the iTunes store. If a user buys additional chapters of a guidebook later, they will mesh with previously purchased material.

There is no need for a connection to the Web because the app is stored on the mobile device. The apps can acquire the user's location using GPS technology and tailor the map appropriately.

Right now, Nomad is targeting travel publishers and travel marketers.

"For most of them it is expensive to create their own mobile applications from scratch," said David Poteet, who is president of both Nomad and New City. "We created a platform, a software platform, that makes it easy."

The Great Smoky Mountains Association slaps a big GSMA across the application that it sells for $4.99. But the fine print discloses that software by Nomad is running in the background.

For its contribution, Nomad collects a flat licensing fee or a share of its customer's revenue.

The last time Nomad Mobile Guides was the subject of buzz, it had just won the "People's Choice" plaque at TechNite, a regional celebration of technology and innovation in the spring.

Last month, the company announced it closed its first angel investment round. It gave the source of the money as 460 Angels, which invests in the businesses of coachable technology-based entrepreneurs in the New River and Roanoke valleys.

The 29 investors associated with 460 Angels, whose names are not public, found Nomad's leaders to be "experienced entrepreneurs with a track record of success addressing a real customer need in the growing mobile and digital media markets," 460 Angels representative Bob Summers said.

via www.roanoke.com

***

You're invited to read more about Nomad Mobile Guides and NewCity on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Submit to StumbleUpon Share

Nomad’s Great Smoky Mountains App Reviewed by National Parks Traveler

For its innovative Nomad Mobile Guide, VT KnowledgeWorks member company NewCity won the People's Choice Award at the TechNite 2010 Awards from the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC.  Nomad was recently revieed in National Parks Traveler.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Mobile Guide by the Great Smoky Mountains Association

Key to the heart of this app can be found right in the title. Yep, that passing mention of the Great Smoky Mountains Association. It's not to be overlooked, for it's the association, not app maker Nomad Mobile Guides, that provides the foundational editorial content of this app. Along with the National Park Service. Put those two institutions together and you've got a veritable treasure trove of information to play with and mine.

Where Nomad comes in is providing the architecture to negotiate this information superhighway. Just as the key to the richness of the content is the involvement of the cooperating association and the Park Service, key to driving it in part is the developer's approach to resize its content first and then insert it into the app, rather than letting the devise at hand figure out how to resize it. This resizing allows for much more content. While Chimani's download, for instance, is listed by iTunes as 267 megabytes, Nomad's is packaged at 62.3 megs — a huge difference both when it comes to time needed to download and space consumed on your device — and the payoff is in the added video, photo, and text content Nomad delivers.

And then, of course, the other key is the way the content is organized by Nomad. The developer comes at this task from two directions. One, a free application which offers content very similar to the basic information found on the national park's website, while the second, a $4.99 version called the Best of the Great Smoky Mountains, gets some turbocharging with additional content from the cooperating association.

via www.nationalparkstraveler.com

***

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge TrophyVT KnowledgeWorks has announced a Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.  The Challenge celebrates the energy and ingenuity of university students and their important contributions to the future of our global economy.  The name of the winning team, their university name, and their home city will be etched into the base of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy as a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort.  The winning team will earn a $25,000 cash prize.

***

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

NewCity Wins People’s Choice Award for Nomad

For its innovative Nomad Mobile Guide, VT KnowledgeWorks member company NewCity won the People's Choice Award at the TechNite 2010 Awards from the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC.

From NewCity:

Nomad is a mobile application designed for publishing and purchasing location-aware travel content. Similar to an e-reader, it lets publishers sell existing books on a mobile platform, opening a new sales channel. Unlike existing e-readers, it lets travelers explore their guidebooks based on location, activity or topic. All Nomad content works together like one guide through a single unified interface.  Publishers and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) can go beyond the printed book experience, offering video, audio, interactive maps, guided tours and other content that enhance the travel experience.

Nomad Mobile Guide - The Location-Aware App for Travel Guides, Maps and Tours

For more information:

People's Choice Award: New City develops travel app, Blue Ridge Business Journal, April 19, 2010

Technnology firms recognized by NCTC, The Roanoke Times, April 13, 2010

***

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge TrophyVT KnowledgeWorks has announced a Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.  The Challenge celebrates the energy and ingenuity of university students and their important contributions to the future of our global economy.  The name of the winning team, their university name, and their home city will be etched into the base of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy as a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort.  The winning team will earn a $25,000 cash prize.

***

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).