Lincoln-based firm creates apps that use data to improve lives
Lincoln September 4, 2013 by Patti Vannoy
Technically, Lincoln-based app shop SectorNow has a massive mission: to use data to improve people’s lives.
“We want to build really niche products that meet specific market needs that work really well for people,” said co-founder Evelyn Bartlett (right).
But ultimately, the company’s focus is on two narrower areas that ignite its co-founders’ personal passions: behavioral health (that’s co-founder Craig Lutz-Priefert) and environmental issues (Bartlett and her husband, Roger).
The three joined forces in December 2010 and launched their first app toward the end of 2011. Named WasteFinder the app helps organizations track and assess their recycling systems.
Almost immediately, several users offered the same feedback: “If only it had hazardous waste in it too” so that users can track each container and ensure it is disposed of within the law’s strict deadlines. So this fall, SectorNow is preparing to release an expanded version with hazardous waste included.
In the meantime, the outfit has developed several other apps, outsourcing the code work to Lincoln’s Information Analytics and Omaha’s AppShark:
MySocius—Launched in May 2012, MySocius helps parents coach their autistic children to better communication skills.
Water1der—Launched in October 2012, Water1der is a groundwater quiz app for kids in third through fifth grades.
Dump Detective—Launched in February 2013, Dump Detective is a stormwater pollution incident reporter.
Particularly because of the need for rich data, SectorNow develops each app with a partner in the target field, such as The Groundwater Foundation, WasteCap Nebraska, Douglas County and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The Bartletts credit building these strong relationships as their biggest success to date.
The co-founders say their biggest challenge though is the continual marketing needs of each app. Because each app is so specialized, each needs to be marketed regionally or nationally, rather than focusing at the local level.
And perhaps surprisingly, marketing one app often requires reaching out to two or three audiences that are more distinct than expected. For example, stormwater engineers and solid waste professionals—they’re all environmentalists, Bartlett said, but their interests and needs are very tied to their specific field.
Credits: Product screenshots courtesy of SectorNow. Evelyn Bartlett photo from LinkedIn.