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It's the Tinder for Economic Development

A new app inspired by Tinder enables economic developers to swipe right or left on businesses you may want to locate in your community.

Anatalio Ubalde
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on April 01, 2016
Anatalio Ubalde
Managing Director and Co-founder

April 1, 2016 (SAN FRANCISCO) - Economic development has been a complicated, data-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming practice for decades. Even experts often fail. However, with today’s launch of a new app from ZoomProspector.com, all of that has changed.


“We have vastly improved the process of economic development by inventing a new app inspired by Tinder. Now all economic developers have to do is swipe right if you see a business you want to locate in your community or swipe left if you don’t want it.  For businesses, they swipe right if they see a community they like or swipe left if they don’t want to locate there. If a community and a business are both into each other the ZoomProspector app makes a connection so they can get together. It’s that simple because that’s how simple is should be,” said Anatalio Ubalde, CEO of GIS Planning, the company that built ZoomProspector.com.


Professionals new to economic development are rethinking what is possible.  “The idea came from a GIS Planning engineer with the right combination of characteristics to see this unexplored opportunity. He’s a single, millennial, hipster, poetry-slam aficionado,” said GIS Planning Talent Attraction Manager, Holly Unlikeli.  


The 23 year-old GIS Planning programmer who came up with the idea, Noah Vale, explains that, “Some people tell me ‘Tinder is just for hooking up.’ To which I always replied, ‘Exactly!’ But now I also tell them that it’s also the new way to do economic development.”


The product has been a hit with economic developers that received VIP beta invites to preview the technology. “I haven’t been in economic development very long but it immediately occurred to me that swiping left and right is a lot easier than taking week-long trade missions to meet with businesses in countries that don’t serve pecan pie. Why would you want to do that when you could just download an app from the Apple App Store instead?” said Springfield economic analyst, Nadia Geddit.


Economic developers in Arizona like the product so much it inspired their new marketing campaign “Swipe Right for Scottsdale” which is ideal for Scottsdale’s rapidly emerging hipster downtown where 40% of residents are millennials.  “I’m getting even more matches on the ZoomProspector app than I do on Tinder!” said economic developer Pat McCann.



“Economic developers have failed by overcomplicating the process of business attraction and site selection. But it’s actually simple. It comes down to solving two basic things. First, communities only want certain businesses to locate in their area. Second, businesses only want to locate in specific communities. The new app from ZoomProspector solves this,” said commercial real estate agent Ulysses Up.


“We update our profile picture to target our best customers. During the winter we like to just make our profile picture the daily temperature in Southern California. That’s all the companies in Canada need to see to swipe right,” said Beach City EDC Director Cal Abunga.


Sven DeAgram, Chief Data Scientist at GIS Planning’s Stockholm office, has analyzed the user data and confirmed that, “There is a high correlation between Canadian businesses that see pictures of Southern California people in swimsuits playing at the beach in December and business people who swipe right because they want to relocate to Los Angeles as soon the snow plows make it possible for them to leave their office. We’re seeing similar trends from businesses in the northeastern USA considering relocations to Florida.”


To download this app, please visit ZoomProspector.com.

Economic Development Business