CHARLOTTE, NC — The World of Beer in South End hosted a unique party Wednesday night, one where two local entrepreneurs launched a Kickstarter campaign to put the finishing touches on a self-initiated project.
Though the event effectively launched a new business venture as well, one known simply as AppsyÔäó, craft beer was the real star of the evening. More than 100 people registered for Kevin Brindley and Brian Hamlett’s secret project “reveal” on Eventbrite, and the attendees learned that the two had been working for months on a new beer app called CraftieÔäó.
Though in development, the app’s completion will be dependent on the success of a Kickstarter campaign that also launched on Wednesday. Brindley and Hamlett addressed the crowd and also showed a video they had produced for CraftieÔäó, a beer app that will feature a robust database of the country’s best breweries and craft beers. Featuring three search options, extensive brewery and brewmaster profiles, tons of information about the craft beers themselves, as well as allowing users to make notes and rate the craft beers they like most.
“We’re beyond excited about it,” Hamlett said. “We’ve been working on it for so long; it was actually a relief to finally announce it. Now that CraftieÔäó is on Kickstarter, we just have to continue to raise awareness so that we can reach our goal.”
Kickstarter is a website that allows entrepreneurs to seek funding for all kinds of creative projects, ranging from technology to art. Creators set a financial goal and offer rewards to those who pledge funds to their project. But it’s all-or-nothing proposition; projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In the case of CraftieÔäó, funds will go towards business costs such as acquiring the necessary servers to power the app and completing any and all testing.
The launch date for the app is planned for November. And based on Wednesday night, the endeavor got off to a great start.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, to be honest,” said Brindley. “We’ve already gotten a ton of contributors. And when we hit social media to raise awareness for our event, we sold half of the tickets the first day. We almost sold out after two days. We had to increase the amount of tickets twice. So Charlotte’s really stepped up for us. It gives us even more confidence to know the local community is behind us.”
The two men formed AppsyÔäó earlier this year, and their first app, CraftieÔäó, has been a labor of love. But while both are avid craft beer aficionados, they’ve both owned successful businesses in the past, too.
As entrepreneurs, Brindley brings 18 years of experience in the creative industry to the table, while Hamlett brings technological expertise as a programmer. Brindley, currently a Creative Director at Work By Kevin, previously owned an agency in Chicago, as well as an e-commerce site in South Florida. Hamlett worked for two successfully acquired start-ups, and has also owned a digital marketing firm for six years. But for now, both men have their sights set firmly on CraftieÔäó. They feel like they’ve hit at the right time, with the right idea.
“The craft beer scene has exploded,” Hamlett said. “You’re seeing it all over the Queen City with the rise of new breweries, and nationally, too. And we know there are other beer apps out there. But ours is different. It’s going to cater to the true craft beer drinker.”
AppsyÔäó LLC was forged in 2012 when Kevin Brindley and Brian Hamlett, two entrepreneurs with long track records of business and design success separately and collaboratively, decided it was the perfect time to form the perfect alliance. They formed AppsyÔäó LLC to create a unique suite of mobile, web-based and desktop apps. Their Kickstarter project, the CraftieÔäó Beer App, served as the first venture of their partnership.