With digital development forming the next frontier of local search, Yellow Pages Group (YPG), Canada’s leading performance media and marketing solutions company, launched today a program devoted to supporting Canadian application developers and aspiring entrepreneurs in building location-based services they can take to market.
YPG’s YellowAPI Developer Program will help web and mobile application developers, across all platforms including iOS, Blackberry and Android, in producing their apps through BETA funding as well as access to internal YPG resources such as consultation on design, quality assurance, legal guidance and technical assistance.
“Entrepreneurship in Canada has long been a focus of ours as we’ve been helping small and medium-sized business grow through our marketing solutions. With the YellowAPI Developer Program, we continue to foster small businesses and also help drive forward local search innovation,” said Stéphane Marceau, Chief Marketing Officer at Yellow Pages Group. “It’s also a natural extension of our existing business model to extend the reach of our advertisers by feeding our listings to up-and-coming apps developed using our public platform.”
The program marks the latest step in the company’s commitment to fostering home-grown mobile and web-based innovation. YellowAPI.com, the open and public API (application programming interface) of YPG was launched last year, providing developers access to 1.5 million verified and regularly updated Canadian business listings, forming the most accurate source of local business information in the country.
Over the last year, YPG has sponsored and hosted a series of “hack-a-thons” across Canada under the banner of YellowAPI.com. These events saw developers gather and compete to produce a viable web or mobile application using a given API within a set period of time.
“It was from these events that the idea for a developer program was born,” continued Marceau. “We were seeing so many incredibly original and really cool apps being created in a matter of hours by local developers. However, these guys have day jobs and obligations. Often because of time or resource constraints, these amazing apps weren’t making it out of the event and into the app stores. With this program, we’re hoping more home-grown apps will make it into the hands of users.”
Five participants in these hack events have already been accepted into the YellowAPI Developer Program, with application concepts devoted to original search methods for restaurants, contractor and renovation services as well as location-planning for social events. The first four participants in the program, will push their applications live over the coming weeks:
- Reservely: An automated text to voice (speech) restaurant reservation system
- MoodFood: A restaurant discovery app based on users’ moods of the moment
- Rendezview: A social meet up and recommendation app which suggests convenient meeting locations for friends
- FinishMyBasement: A home improvement tool guiding users through the steps of renovation and provides contractor recommendations
- DealScanr: A shopping app devoted to locating the best deals near a given location
YPG expects to be accepting more developers into the program over the coming months.
Submissions to the YellowAPI Developer Program are accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated by a YPG selection committee based on criteria such as:
- Originality of concept
- Addressing a user need
- Ability to generate local search traffic
- Integration of YellowAPI
- Commercial viability
- Developer commitment to application support for a minimum 12-month period
The program also provides developers the opportunity to monetize their applications. If their app is successful in driving significant amounts of quality traffic, they can be compensated by YPG.