Young woman texting on mobile looking for car pool in downtown Toronto, Canada.

6 Wisconsin-Based Apps on the Rise

Whether you’re looking for ways to save money, share pictures or find someone to work out with, local companies have an app for you. Here are six that we find particularly intriguing.

It’s not as if you’ll mistake Wisconsin for Silicon Valley, but a number of startup companies here are nonetheless carving out their own niches on the internet.

Exit 7C
Problem: Scammers tamper with gas pumps’ credit-card readers to steal card numbers from customers, and many gas station owners can’t afford the equipment upgrades they need to thwart the crooks.

Solution: Drivers can use Exit 7C to buy fuel using the more secure Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Status: Launched in November 2016 for truckers and other commercial drivers, the app was used by 19 fleets with more than 700 drivers by the end of 2017. The consumer version is scheduled for a June launch.
Problem: You’re a member of the military or a veteran choosing a college at which to use your GI Bill benefits.

Solution: This website lets colleges and universities post information about their campuses and the services they offer to veterans and active-duty military personnel.
Status: Launched in 2015, the site now plays a key role in educational services for the 2.4 million members of the American Legion and for thousands of Army and Air National Guard members as they prepare to leave the military.
Problem: You want a workout partner, but you don’t know anybody who’s interested. And maybe you could use some other incentives to get fit, too.

Solution: FitGapp matches you up with workout buddies and allows you to earn rewards for the calories you burn. To activate it, you connect your fitness band to the app on your mobile device.
Status: Launched in 2016.
Stevens Point
Problem: You want to share photos and videos from a wedding or other occasion, but text and email are too clumsy.

Solution: Use grouve to post your photos and videos, making them accessible only to a group that you designate. Businesses also can use it for communicating with their employees.
Status: Launched in July 2017, the app was deployed by more than 20 businesses and had more than 1,000 users by the end of the year.
Shift Savings
Problem: Millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and some are so worried about finances they can’t concentrate at work.

Solution: The app connects to your checking account, rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then deposits the extra cents in your savings account. Your employer can match your contributions and you can set savings goals. It’s available either as an employee benefit or for individuals.
Status: Launched in August 2017, the app had 11 corporate customers and more than 400 individual users by the end of the year. The company plans a broader push into the consumer market in early 2018.
Problem: You need a place for your sports team to practice, but you can’t find a suitable court, diamond or other facility at the time you need.

Solution: This website lets gyms, schools and other places post their available spaces and times, allowing teams to search for practice spots and book rentals through the site or connect with the administrator.
Status: GymDandy launched in early 2017 and expects to secure more than 3,000 bookings in 2018.

A Deep Dive Inside Milwaukee’s Startup Scene

Cheata Bikes

‘Meet the Disruptors’ appeared in the February 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Larry Sandler has been writing about Milwaukee-area news for more than 30 years. He covered City Hall and transportation for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, after reporting on county government, business and education for the former Milwaukee Sentinel. At the Journal Sentinel, he won a Milwaukee Press Club award for his investigation of airline security. He's been freelancing since late 2012, with a focus on local government, politics and transportation. His contributions to Milwaukee Magazine have included profiles of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Milwaukee Ald. Bob Donovan, as well as a feature about the perennial power struggles of Milwaukee County officials. Larry grew up in Chicago and now lives in Glendale.