Meet Rallye: This mother-son team created an app to help you find fun activities nearby

As the world opens up again and immunization rates rise, you might be looking for fun things to do or restaurants to try with friends and family you haven’t seen before. the year. The mother-son duo behind Rally want to help you find them.

Wendy Verna, owner and president of South Street, headquartered in Octo Design Group, told him son Robbie developed the concept of the application three years ago. Graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in marketing, Robbie came up with the idea during an internship for an app that gives people things to do nearby.

The result, Rallie, allows you to search for businesses such as bars, restaurants, shops, and lounges, as well as events such as art festivals and farmers’ markets. Consumers can set their preferences for locations or things to do from a mile to 10 miles.

Verna says the spontaneous and hyperlocal nature of the app may make it the perfect tool for helping small business owners connect with their customers. She remembered how obnoxious trying to find places to eat or things to do during the pandemic could be, when websites and search results weren’t always updated with up-to-date timetables. companies or modified menus.

“People were constantly disappointed, thinking that they [could] go somewhere but [couldn’t],” she said Technically. “Google didn’t do the best job of updating information during the pandemic – and this problem existed before the pandemic.”

Given the app’s limited geographic reach, businesses have the opportunity to achieve higher conversion rates by engaging nearby consumers consistently.

“We really want to connect neighbors and businesses,” Verna said, so both can benefit.

The Rally application. (Courtesy Image)

The app is currently being tested in East Falls and offered free to businesses for up to six months, after which they will have to pay $ 50 per month, or $ 75 for premium ads. According to Verna, business owners who have adopted the app have so far been happy with its results. As a marketer, she explained that the fees for displaying marketing services in a Google search or on Yelp can typically start at $ 500 per month and are less profitable for small businesses.

Co-founder of the Rallye application

Wendy Verna. (Photo via LinkedIn)

“Rallie was designed because I’m a marketer and my job is to fill businesses when they’re not busy,” she said. “You pay a monthly fee to a marketing company to advertise at any time of the day. As a marketer, I’ve always wondered how can I let businesses spend more laser-focused marketing dollars.

One new feature that business owners can use while using the app is what Verna called the “Rush” toggle button. For times when businesses are getting busy and may be less responsive to customers, owners can hit the Rush button to temporarily hide their business from the sight of potential customers. Businesses also have the option of sending notifications for urgent offers or promotions.

The application is now available for download in the Apple Store and google play store and was designed by Dave phelan and Phil DiMuro, partners in a Maryland-based company Approach of the founders. They both have connections to Philly: Phelan is from Devon and DiMuro is from Pottstown. Verna said she was motivated to work with them because they wanted to give back to the Philly area with the project.

Rallie’s mother-son team’s next plan for the app is to bring it to universities and make it available to students who want to better explore the communities and neighborhoods in which they live.

“So far, the main audience has been students up to 30 and 55 and over,” she said. “Empty Breeders are looking for last minute things to do and are really excited about it. It’s an exciting time because people want to hang out with the things that open up.

As Rallie grows up, Verna predicts that he will eventually be able to function as a supplement to a travel site. Travelocity or travel booking site Airbnb and provide activities to accompany the airline tickets, getaway plans or the respective places of stay offered by these platforms.


Michael Butler is a 2020-2021 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-

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