SANTA YNEZ LOCALS LAUNCH TECH STARTUP IN SANTA BARBARA
Stew and Michael at TongoThe app brings local businesses – especially those impacted by the Thomas Fire and mudslides — a new way to reach local consumers and tourists visiting the area.
Tongo is a free to users advertising platform consolidating local listings into one easy-to-navigate experience that places location above ratings, reviews, or pulse. Powered by the businesses themselves, the app instantly connects consumers to their surrounding restaurants, bars, music venues, tasting rooms and retail shops and gives, providing real-time information about promotional deals, parties, or live events that these businesses are running right now.
“Imagine every corkboard, chalkboard, card rack, and poster-laden street light in the city brought together and available to everyone in the immediate area – anywhere, anytime. That’s the power of Tongo,” says CEO and Co Founder Michael Gahan.
Tongo was launched earlier this month at Impact Hub in Santa Barbara.
The app is currently available on iOS through the AppStore. More info at www.letstongo.com
About the founders – Best friends since second-grade, CEO Michael Gahan and Co-Founder Stew Moore came up with almost the exact same idea for their app independent of each other while living on separate coasts. When Stew returned home after six years in Portland, Maine, Michael – who had begun developing Tongo four months before – started a conversation which ended in a partnership. Since that day, Mike and Stew have been working out of coffee shops, shared work spaces, and Stew’s mom’s garage.
CEO, Co-founder Michael Gahan graduated Santa Ynez Valley Union High school in 2005 and attended Cal Poly. He graduated with a degree in business. He currently owns and operates Santa Barbara Taste where he learned about the struggles a small company goes through when trying to market themselves in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.
COO, Co-founder Stew Moore graduated Santa Ynez Valley Union High school in 2005 and attended CU Boulder before leaving for culinary school. He later went back to college and finished with a degree in entrepreneurship and marketing. He’s helped open and manage nationally acclaimed restaurants across the country, as well as run social media marketing campaigns for a number of non-profits. These experiences gave him the chance to witness first-hand the type of exposure small businesses need to thrive in competitive markets.