February 24, 2014

Upstate natives launch new social media app

A new social media application for iPhone, developed by Greenville natives, hit the app store Monday.

A new social media application for iPhone, developed by Greenville natives, hit the app store Monday.

The app called “Sovi” is the creation of Samuel “Trey” Pringle III and Tom Evans. Hannah Tate spearheads marketing for the app. All three are Wade Hampton High School graduates.

Sovi (a conjugation of social and the Spanish word for life, “vida”) is a platform where local businesses and event promoters can post and market their events to the local community, said Pringle, Sovi’s COO and co-founder.

Local organizations and event promoters publish their events on Sovi. When the app is opened, social events appear in order of time and proximity to the user.

The events can be filtered by date, time, location and category, allowing users to find events based on their interests, the company said. Additionally, individuals using Sovi can follow their favorite event publishers to easily access their events, the company said.

The app is being used by businesses and promoters in the Greenville, Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta and Nashville markets.

Among its most notable event publishers are Charleston Music Hall, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville Road Warriors, and Marathon Music Works (Nashville), the company said.

Pringle was living in Atlanta in early 2012 when he found that trying to find something to do always seemed to be a “fragmented process,” he said.

He’d look at different websites of music venues and sports teams or the Facebook pages of his favorite bars, while “literally sitting with a notepad writing down the things to do.”

“I’m like there’s got to be a better way to do this,” he said.

He met up with Evans in Greenville and discovered he was having a similar experience. The two software developers then decided to try to build a software tool “that can really solve this problem,” he said.

They started the company, using their own funds, in April 2012. They built the app over the course of the following year, while working full time at other jobs.

The beta version of the app for iPhone and the Internet was released in May 2013. The Sovi app for iPad will be released in April and the Android app will be available this summer.

Pringle said that over the last six months, “we have grown the application to over 4,000 users and received two sizable investments.”

“Our goal has always been to create a social media application that has the ability to connect individuals with their community through local events. It’s exciting to see Sovi gaining momentum and making the impact for local businesses and individuals that we envisioned from the beginning,” Pringle said.

“We feel strongly that our Greenville heritage definitely provided us with the tools to grow our company to this point,” Pringle said.

Tate is based in Nashville. Pringle and Evans are currently in San Francisco, having been selected from a large pool of applicants for a $20,000 seed investment and a spot in Tumml’s 2014 Winter Cohort.

Tumml is an urban impact accelerator that supports early stage companies and connects entrepreneurs with funding, mentors, and a community of people dedicated to urban impact, its website said.

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