On a crisp fall afternoon, I made my way over to the offices of Ozmott to find out what the team is up to. I was greeted at the door by Flash, a basset hound and unofficial office mascot, and then joined Joe and Kristin in the conference room. It didn’t take long to realize these guys are onto something exciting.
Joe Walker is a tech visionary who’s hooked on Traverse City. After attending Dartmouth College, he earned a masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Joseph also received training on consumer marketing from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. A year ago he started Ozmott and set his sights on his first love: Traverse City, Michigan. Joe aims to grow Ozmott to the size of tech giant Groupon and do it all in the Cherry Capital. He sees great potential in scenic TC’s ability to lure tech workers with scenic beaches, fine dining, and low overhead.
“Ozmott is a new, patent pending mobile shopping platform that allows users to shop, share and indulge. By sharing or claiming an offer, users earn redeemable credits called Pips to unlock exclusive top tier Luxe Offers.” –Ozmott.com
The idea for Ozmott came to Joe as he looked at current market gaps and the problems that have plagued “daily deal” companies like Groupon. While deeply discounted temporary deals are nice for consumers and pump up traffic for merchants in the short term, they tend to hurt the merchant in the long run and don’t build customer loyalty.
Joe and his team set out to build something better that would be a win-win for consumers and merchants alike. Ozmott users like to save money, share the deals they find, and get rewarded with discounts on big ticket items they normally wouldn’t be able to afford. The app currently features deals from regional and national merchants such as MC Sports and Wolverine Worldwide’s Hush Puppy outlet stores.
Kristin Fehrman, a TC native who spent some time with Yelp in San Francisco, joined Ozmott and hasn’t looked back. Kristin and the marketing team have been hitting the streets and spreading the word. They’ve been using pop-up events to gather area merchants and consumers around great food and good times.