Instead of purchasing bottled water, Crystal Plew and Devin Lyttle would like people to refill reusable water bottles wherever they can find taps: a grocery store, water fountain, a farmers market.
Plew and Lyttle are the cofounders of Amazi, a forthcoming app that they call the “Yelp for water.” It really is just that — a location app for people more interested in refilling their Nalgenes than buying bottled water.
While the app is forthcoming, as the pair announced at June’s Baltimore TechBreakfast, a beta version is in the final stages of testing, and the idea has garnered some positive press. The idea for Amazi was thought up at a Startup Weekend in Lancaster, Pa., in February, and took first place. And Amazi recently won the Most Promising Emerging Business prize at the first annual Think Beyond Plastic innovation competition in Berkeley, Calif.
“We are moving into the funding phases and trying to ramp up development,” said Plew by e-mail.
Watch Amazi present at the Baltimore TechBreakfast:
Of course, as far as revenue is concerned, apps aren’t always known for being big money makers. Plew hinted at TechBreakfast that in-app advertising might be the way Amazi tries to pay for itself, by selling space to businesses nearby water-filling locations who are interested in promoting themselves. It’s a move with some potential for growth: in-app advertising is expected to do $7.1 billion in sales by 2015.
She also said Amazi plans to file as a Benefit Corporation (allowable in both Pennsylvania and Maryland thanks to recently passed legislation).
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