August Startup Of The Month – OtherWorld
Linkilaw has chosen OtherWorld as its Startup of the Month! OtherWorld is an innovative news pilot aimed at the generation of people who will never read their local newspaper. Using the very latest beacon technology people can discover the nearest news to them now, without the need for an app.
OtherWorld addresses the disconnect between millennials and local news to reinvigorate interest in location-based news. You could call OtherWorld a startup, but before that, it’s a prototype of real-time and highly-contextual location-based storytelling. Stuart Goulden started the agency and startup studio Like No Other exists to challenge tired industries with breakthrough ideas and technologies. OtherWorld responds to a whole generation of people who would never read their local newspaper to test Stuart’s belief that local news is more relevant and powerful when accompanied by a real world experience.
Backed by Google, OtherWorld is an entirely new type of news platform, using the latest beacon technology to send location-triggered stories direct to your phone when you walk near them for free, without the need for an app. Once you set up OtherWorld on your phone, any stories you walk by will appear as a silent notification on your phone and when you walk out of range they fall away. So when you pass a point of interest, you’ll find stories relevant to where you’re stood.
It’s not just hard-hitting news that users will be notified about. OtherWorld wants to appeal to a large demographic that has long abandoned local news in favour of mobile news apps and news on social media sites. So for example, you could be walking through a park and you’d get a notification that there’s a party happening there next week. This bridges the gap between local news and modern news dissemination. As its name suggests, OtherWorld is purposely different to a traditional news brand, with names such as Times, Chronicle, Press and Guardian. The name alludes to the “other world” of stories that are yet to be discovered.
Stuart says he always strives to work alongside visionaries, but OtherWorld itself is a visionary concept that encourages positive change in the local news field. Throughout his startup journey, if a sector needs shaking up, Stuart’s happy to be the person who tries to do it. Wanting to engage with communities and bring them closer together drove Stuart Goulden to found OtherWorld at this point of his purpose and value-led entrepreneurial journey.
He’s been working for himself for 6-7 years, using his background in marketing strategy and planning to understand what attracts people to products and how to appeal to the masses. Most of the projects he’s undertaken up to this point have been centred on bringing communities together- whether its residential communities, creative communities, entrepreneurial communities or entire cities. OtherWorld is an outlet for this passion, strengthening communities by sharing and celebrating local news. Even though he works for himself, Stuart relies on cooperation and engagement from the communities he works with, the newest community being the city of Manchester.
OtherWorld is being introduced in Manchester from the 25th July until December, after a trial run at the Manchester International Festival. Stuart is new to Manchester, having moved from York, a city with a rich creative underbelly that he championed whilst living there. He quickly built up a strong network in the city by introducing himself to other businesses and cultural organisations.
With Google’s backing, organisations in Manchester have embraced OtherWorld. The reaction in Manchester from over 50 content partners such the NHS, Big Issue, police, libraries, and tourism and transport providers, through to independent museums, galleries and festivals have filled an enormous gap in corporations’ marketing and in the way they reach out to their audiences. OtherWorld also grabbed the attention of large publishing companies around Europe who have been toying with location-based information but never had the resources or the time to take the leap. Stuart took advantage of consumers’ appetites for instantaneous information and technology to create OtherWorld.
It’s a radically different approach to news creation and discovery. Should it be successful, it has the potential to transform how we explore the world around us and add a new layer to city life. Manchester might be the first step for launching the OtherWorld location-based news notification platform, but it’s not the end goal.
Building on Stuart’s dedication to improving communities and bringing people together, OtherWorld could be exciting for communities in developing countries lacking effective news networks. The programme could be used to share health advice or farming tips to increase employment, income and bring people closer together.
Do you know a cool startup we should write about next time?