May 29, 2017
BY ELAINE O’REGAN
It was while watching the Late Late Show on RTÉ one Friday night in 2013 that the Cork based engineering graduate Michelle Donovan and her father Tony came up with the idea for their shared mobile application TAPSTAK.
A software-as-a-service product, the newly launched app uses push-button interaction to allow companies and other organisations to create micro-apps quickly and easily to interact with customers and audiences.
“We wanted to enter the competition on the Late Late Show, but you needed to text in a keyword followed by your name followed by your answer”. said Tony Donovan. ” In this day and age you should really be able to enter a competition like that by just pressing a button on your mobile phone. That’s where the idea came from”.
Using basic coding skills, Michelle Donovan developed a standalone app for entering the Late Late Show competition. “We approached Enterprise Ireland and Nimbus, and developed a beta platform called Voxtake, a play on voxpop, for automating SMS-based interactions with radio and TV shows.” said Tony Donovan.
Having realised that there was potential for the idea across a much broader range of sectors and services, the Donovans acquired a patent and re-branded as TAPSTAK.
Priced fro €12 per month the, the app allows companies to add mobile pay, order, report or react buttons to any event, service or product.
They log on to an online portal and fill out a form to create a micro-application, which appears on the TAPSTAK mobile app. Each micro-app can be found by searching a corresponding TAPTAG with the app. The TAPTAG can be registered exclusively by a business within a geographical area, in the same way as a web address.
“We basically split the app in two. We look after the front-end work and the then send the messages to the people using it, who can then concentrate on building their own platform to accept the messages.” said Tony Donovan.
The Donovans will target media sectors initially, but see potential for their technology across a broad range of activities ranging from paying for parking to reporting faults.
“The lead time for developing an app at the moment is about six months, on average,” said Michelle Donovan who has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from UCC.
“We can cut that down to 15-20 minutes for the initial set-up, and after that you can edit the micro-app in about two to three minutes. It can be quite expensive to develop a bespoke micro-app in terms of the initial outlay, and then the cost of promoting it on smart-phones after that.
“We remove the cost of getting the app on smart-phones and we also take on all the maintenance costs for updating the apps and putting them on the app stores.”
Original article posted 28th of May 2017 by The Sunday Business Post here.