We chatted with Chloe Doesburg CEO and Co-Founder of Driftscape, a mobile app that provides a platform for local organisations to share site-specific stories, tours and events. You can now explore the city in augmented reality on Driftscape!
What is your business called and what does it do?
Our business is called Driftscape. We’re a mobile app company dedicated to making local culture easier to discover. We provide a platform for local organizations to share places of interest, tours and events so that users can see it all in one place. There are already over 30 organizations using the platform in Toronto including Heritage Toronto, Toronto Fringe Festival, Toronto Public Library, the Canadian National Exhibition and many more. With over 3000 points on the map so far – there’s a lot to explore! The app is always free for users, and it’s a great way to explore your neighbourhood in a whole new way. We’ve also recently launched our Augmented Reality mode (for iOS), which gives you another unique way to discover cool stuff nearby.
What made you want to do this work?
Years ago, I cofounded a project called Track Toronto, where we collected and mapped songs that referenced places Toronto. We were surprised by how excited people were about the project, and by how many great local songs are out there. We wanted to give people a way to seamlessly hear those songs when they were in the places that inspired them, and we thought a mobile app that could send location-triggered notifications would be a great way to do it. We quickly realized that there were tons of local organizations that were creating fantastic local content who would benefit from the same type of mobile app. So we built Driftscape!
What problem does this solve?
Driftscape helps local organizations connect with their audience in an impactful way. It gives them all the benefits of having their own app, without having to reinvent the wheel, or being responsible for the app’s design, maintenance and promotion. By working together on a common platform, every organization using Driftscape gets access to a broader audience. For travellers and curious locals, it’s a single app that enables you to see content from 30+ organizations, and is a great way to discover interesting stuff near you.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
We work with local cultural organizations, events and festivals, outdoor attractions, business improvement areas, municipalities and tourism organizations. The people who download and our app are really anyone interested in knowing more about what’s around them!
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Our ultimate goal is to offer a platform where high-quality cultural content is always at the forefront. Organizations who share their stories on Driftscape pay us a monthly subscription fee. This enables us to have an advertising-free platform, and to put the user in control of what they’d like to see.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
On our website, and if you download the app, we’ll help you find hidden gems all over the city!
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
What’s the benefit of Driftscape over building my own app or over joining another platform?
Driftscape is available at a fraction of the cost of building your own app, and with lots of additional benefits. We make it easy for participating organizations to highlight their content, we help them access a broader audience and we take care of the design and maintenance of the platform over the long term. Driftscape is built to serve local cultural organizations; we are very flexible, and constantly add new features to accommodate their needs. Once an organization joins Driftscape they’ll get access to valuable analytics about their visitors, reach a larger audience, and always have access to the latest features – for example our new Augmented Reality Mode! We’re the only platform that is solely devoted to promoting local culture, so organizations know that their content appears along-side other high-quality local content, rather than commercial listings and advertisements. And we already have thousands of active users in Toronto!
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is getting to connect with local organizations, and getting to learn so much about this great city. The worst part? I don’t know! It’s all pretty great.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
Hmm… I can’t think of any jokes!
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
The Centre for Social Innovation, where our office is located, is a fantastic place that is home to so many local social enterprises, and a great community. It’s a great place to start and grow your company, and meet a whole lot of people doing interesting and meaningful things.