Featured Startup Pitch: AppInstitute wants to make building a mobile app a breeze for even the smallest businesses

Ian Naylor, AppInstituteIan Naylor, AppInstitute founder and CEO

ELEVATOR PITCH

AppInstitute makes getting an app for your business a simple and cost effective process. We offer a solution stack to enable our SMB customers to create and manage affordable smartphone apps (iOS and Android), with no tech skills or coding experience necessary.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESCRIPTION

We consider ourselves the ‘WordPress for Mobile Apps,’ as our SaaS platform allows SMBs to quickly create iOS and Android apps with no tech skills or coding experience necessary. With our simple template and drag-n-drop CMS, business owners can create apps for customer loyalty, m-commerce, information capture, showcasing products and services, or simply being a mobile digital hub.

After singing up for free on the AppInstitute website, users can create and personalize their app in three easy steps. Additionally, for businesses wanting to take the process to the next level, options are available to sign up for affordable app development plans to collaboratively create a professional app with the direct help of the AppInstitute’s experts.

Clients can sign up for the ‘Self Build,’ ‘Premium Build’ service, or ‘Custom Project’ plan, all of which can produce apps that support Facebook and Twitter integration, geolocation map listings, custom form builders, image galleries, and video directories among numerous other features.

FOUNDER’S STORY

Once upon a time, in the city of thieves (Nottingham), a founder was born who wanted to readdress the balance between the haves and have-nots (big business versus small business owners). Using the power of software, I have leveraged these goals over several startups, culminating in the formation of AppInstitute.

AppInstitute screenshot

MARKETING/PROMOTION STRATEGY

Our core strategy is growth via channel partners. We’re looking to partner with existing digital service businesses, providing our platform under a white label, and allowing them to utilize this as a toolset to create apps for their customers in the most effective and cost-effective manner.

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Our platform has no specific geographical barriers, and already we have partners and end-client businesses in over ten countries over four continents; however our initial focus is on the UK market, as this is our base.

From a top-down approach within the UK, there are over five million SMEs, which presents our UK market potential. From a bottom-up approach we have validated five strong verticals (Food, Hair and Beauty, Entertainment, Transport, and Medical), which represent almost one million UK businesses.

A lot of small- and medium-sized businesses do not tap in to the true potential that is offered to them via the smartphone market. Over 60 percent of online purchases in the UK being made on a mobile device, making it over a $10 billion industry, the demand for obtainable and affordable mobile app solutions is sure to continue rising.

With our powerful, user-friendly design tool, regardless of your business size, you can create the exact app that you need to effectively engage and expand your company’s customer base.

HOW WE’RE UNIQUE

As a SaaS provider, we have a few U.S.-centric competitors, such as Como and Bizness Apps, who have a strong geographical footing in their own territories, but less so in the UK. We have yet to find a comparable UK competitor.

Local competition tends to be more from traditional software development houses and independent developers. Our key differential from these players is cost of ownership, and value for money of the solution provided.

BUSINESS MODEL

We operate on a freemium model, which allows users to access and build their apps for free, as well as submit them to Google Play for free. There is a small one-off cost of £30 for submission to the Apple App Store, and an optional monthly subscription fee of £25 to use push notifications, as well as our app CRM tools.

We also just received a $750,000 investment by the Foresight Nottingham Fund, which provides the company with development capital to drive further growth and job creation in the years ahead.

CURRENT NEEDS

We are in our growth acceleration phase, generating revenue and are close to reaching our tipping point. We have secured funding to get to profitability, so our focus is on executing the strategy that we have developed to get us there. Our current needs are around hiring quality employees to the existing team, and on-boarding channel partners and customers.

# # #

AppInstitute logoHEADQUARTERS: Nottingham, UK

WEBSITE: appinstitute.co.uk

FOUNDER: Ian Naylor

INVESTORS: Foresight Nottingham Fund, private Angel investor

YEAR FOUNDED: 2011

TWITTER: @appinstitute

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/AppInstitute

CRUNCHBASE: crunchbase.com/organization/appinstitute

Comments

  • Timothy Dabbs

    Aloha, I’ve been on the search for a do it yourself platform for about a year now I’ve been through them all, from Appmakr to Appgeyers to Appthis to Appthat, I’m currently working with two different (cms) companies which in my opinion could become the leaders in this new anybody can build an app platform, one of them being Appinsititute, their prices are reasonable, they have most of the features I need, good customer support, though there are a few issues I think they need to work on and features they need to add. The following are issues I’ve personal delta with along with some suggestions, I’m not one of them complain all the time type people, I’m what Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book “The Tipping Point”, a Maven, I help make products and services better especially when I’m using them, luckily I was also fortunate enough to have the other two, connector, and salesmen but that’s another story.

    1. Screenshots: Out of all the companies out there not one company has implicated a sophisticated up to date way in creating screenshots which in my opinion are very important. The preview simulator is already in place just add a few more phone templates or at least make sure the simulator is centering the apps assets correctly so that a screen caption can be taken, I would also add a How To section explaining about screen captions.

    2. Tip Section: A tip section throughout the whole platform would benefit everyone, you guys can let us know what works good and what doesn’t, the key here is to produce an app that not only functions well, but looks well also.

    3. Platform: Everybody knows that nothing is perfect in the real world, but in the tech world it can be perfect or very close to it. Things should be centered the layout should be easy on the eyes, example, last week somebody changed the inactive App Tabs icons from regular text to bold text, which not good, and it’s now blurry.

    I noticed a lot of these entrepreneurs are making a mistake in letting a developer make a decision that they should be making, successful entrepreneurs are the visionaries not the developer or they would be your competition. I feel that the Ian needs to improve the quality control over whoever is maintain the platform, even the smallest of things such as blurry text, is a very important issue.

    I believe that Ian Naylor has the drive and passion to lead Appinsititute into becoming one of the top do it yourself platforms not only in the UK, the rest of the world as well, I would would like to wish him and the rest of the crew at Appinsititute a very successful year.

    Aloha,

    Tim

    Reply to Timothy Dabbs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *