App developers target B2B market

Derrick Reimer sees social media-driven leads as the next big trend in business marketing, and he’s hoping his new application will help monetize the endless chatter on websites such as Twitter.

Reimer’s Leadscreener app took first place last month in the 59DaysofCode application development competition presented by the Central Valley Business Incubator (CVBI) and local tech entrepreneur Irma L. Olguin, Jr.

Reimer said business owners have seen promise in the work.

“So far the idea is being well-received,” Reimer said. “They tell me, ‘If you can really do what you say you can do, then I can use it.’”

The lead generator won the competition’s zero-code category. By definition of the category, Reimer has only been working on the application for a little more than two months. It is still in the testing phase and far from a finished product. Currently, Reimer said he is focusing on improving the algorithm that searches through the virtual mass of tweets.

“I hope to have Leadscreener launched within a few months,” Reimer said.

Leadscreener is a subscription-based business-to-business application. The monthly pricing plans would be suited for sole-proprietorships to large enterprises with the price dependent on the number of keywords available to the customer to use. Entrepreneurs enter these keywords to find live tweets that may be soliciting goods or services.

For instance, the key word “web designer” will scan for posts seeking that service. It also allows for instance contact via Twitter.

“It’s all about finding the right people to engage with,” Reimer explained. “I see a lot of value in a tool that will help pinpoint those people and resources.”

Reimer also won the zero-code category last year with his GuideKit application that helps businesses create user manuals for customers.

“It’s pretty crazy because it still surprises me that I won again,” Reimer said. “There were so many good apps this year.”

Reimer’s independent development company CodeTree Studios has temporarily put GuideKit on the back burner, while focusing most of its efforts on Leadscreener.

“I’m kind of in a transition state right now,” Reimer said. “I launched GuideKit earlier this year and it was received well by the open source crowd, but it didn’t gain a lot traction with business users.”

The winner in the in-progress category was Ventata, a dynamic-pricing application geared toward helping online retailers maximize profit by setting optimum price points. The application integrates with the user’s existing e-commerce portal. Every time a customer places an order, the e-commerce provider sends that information to Ventata, which checks market trends and other factors, calculates the profit-maximizing price and automatically updates the price on the website.

“Our product maximizes profits over a period of time to help them make the most over a given month or day,” said CEO Luke Davis of Fresno.

Ventata has launched and already added clients. Ventata is reportedly in business discussions with an Inc. 500 company, but Davis declined to say which one. The majority of Ventata’s client base is outside of the Valley. Davis said he would love to do business with more local companies, but because the company’s target market is e-commerce websites, it is difficult to target a specific geographic area.

Davis said he has great respect for the programming community in the Valley and it was a great honor to win the competition. The 59DaysofCode people’s choice award went to Ensemble Online, a multiplayer online, real-time strategy game. It is a product of local gaming development house SemiFormal Studios.