Home CompaniesB2C Your Social GPS Is Here: Meet The New App Connecting People IRL

Your Social GPS Is Here: Meet The New App Connecting People IRL

by Maija Ehlinger

It all started one day when Monte Applewhite went out to brunch in Atlanta. 

Now, Atlantans are known to take brunch very seriously (the city consistently ranks high on lists of the best brunch places in the country). But Applewhite noticed something missing from the experience. Instead of “lively chatter,” he looked around and saw everyone was looking down at their phones. 

It’s the uncomfortable truth about our world in which smartphones are everywhere and cellular networks are all around. While we might physically be in a social setting, it is common for people to be lost in their own digital world scrolling Tik Tok, playing an app-based game, or texting with someone far away. 

As Applewhite put it: “Social media has become the unsociable elephant in the room.” 

His solution? Applewhite and his co-founder Calvin Reddick have been busy working on the launch of GoSayHELLO, a hyperlocal “social GPS” app that helps users discover nearby people, events, and businesses. 

Now launching an app startup might sound counterintuitive for a startup looking to get people off their phones and engaged with others in the real world. But the app is designed specifically to encourage face-to-face interactions in real life (IRL), be it at professional events, city festivals, or neighborhood gatherings, the team behind GoSayHELLO explained. The goal is to “combat social isolation” while building community and supporting local events. The “social GPS” gives users real-time information about who is nearby and what social events are happening around them. Users can ‘break the ice’ and start messaging with people nearby and ultimately meet up. 

For safety, messaging is restricted until both parties opt into the connections. 

The app can also help event organizers “amplify reach and engagement,” the team added, since it allows for event-based group chats. In its early stages, GoSayHELLO’s target audience includes travelers, event attendees, event organizers, skill seekers, and professionals looking to grow their network. 


Launching GoSayHELLO in the real world

GoSayHELLO is one of several dynamic Southeast-based apps looking to change the nature of social media. There is aptly named Offline, a Charlotte-based app that connects users with handpicked restaurants, Atlanta-based Fanbase, Ubiquitous, TechMaeThe Lo, and The Better Spot.

The app launched this summer and is free for anyone to download with a premium subscription option available. The team is currently looking for Atlanta-base influencers, organizations, and event planners. 

Applewhite, an Ernst & Young (EY) alumnus and graduate of North Carolina A&T, and his co-founder Reddick have assembled an impressive team to launch the early-stage app. Those joining GoSayHELLO’s team include Aaminah Ishmael (Events Director), Klassie Collins (Learning Director), Ty Rawls (Product Management and Customer Experience), and D. Gyasi Thurmon (Marketing Director). Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Robert Frederick, the first Manager for the Amazon Web Services Program, are listed as advisors. 

We asked the GoSayHELLO team what it was like launching such an app in Atlanta. For the team, the city is “as diverse and dynamic” as their app. 

“Why wouldn’t we launch here? Atlanta is a vibrant city with a rich professional and cultural scene, making it an ideal launchpad for GoSayHELLO. The city is home to a diverse range of industries, from startups and tech companies to film production and music, providing ample networking opportunities for the app’s target audience.”

Atlantans who want to get a sense of how GoSayHELLO works can check out the Paint N Play Festival on August 26th in Freedom Park, which is hosted by the Atlanta-based non-profit Paint and Sit ATL founded by Elijah Wade. The team told Hypepotamus that Paint and Sit ATL used GoSayHELLO to scale his event to 2,000 attendees.



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