Memphian launches community-based smartphone app with philanthropy at its core

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Mar. 2, 2021 – Each day, the average smartphone user gets 46 push notifications. But they check just two or three of them, and they undoubtedly miss things they want to see amid the clutter. But one Memphis entrepreneur is changing that, as he vows to give users control of their content once and for all through an app that combines all their “must know” information and financially supports students and colleges in their state – Knowtice.

“As a business owner and an individual, few things are more frustrating than missing something important,” said Kermit Throckmorton, founder of Knowtice. “Emails, text messages, Facebook notifications, even personal phone calls rarely reach 100% of the people who need them. The information is either ignored or, worse, throttled by platforms seeking advertising dollars and artificially deciding who sees what. So I decided to fix it.”

Three things differentiate Knowtice from existing apps: it’s free for everyone (including businesses); it offers improved communication opportunities without pricey advertising requirements for reach; and it operates with a philanthropic structure to support colleges and their students and families.

Free for everyone
Knowtice is free for both organizations and users. Organizations – including retail stores, service providers, restaurants, nonprofit groups, clubs and more – can enjoy a customizable profile in the category of their choice, a visually descriptive calendar and reach of up to 100% of the users that follow them at no additional charge. It’s a welcome option in a world where organizations face an average email open rate of just 16% of recipients and an average organic Facebook reach of just 5% of the page’s fans.

Meanwhile, users can also enjoy the app’s benefits free of charge and with control over the content they choose. There are no ad-driven algorithms or forced content. If a user follows an organization and uses the app, they’ll see what that organization shares.

“I spent more than 30 years as co-owner of a lawn care company, and the particular problem of reach is widespread,” Throckmorton said. “Personally, I’ve also experienced it. Whether I need a reminder that my child has a baseball game, that I should order from a certain restaurant today to support a nonprofit, or that my gym added a new workout class, I knew there had to be a singular solution to corralling all the information I wanted, not just the information other social sites decided I should see.”

As evidenced by its growing support from local businesses and organizations, like the Shelby County Chamber Alliance, Knowtice is changing the way local customers find and support their community – one follow at a time.

User-controlled content
Perhaps most importantly, Knowtice puts users in control of their content. There are no ad-driven algorithms, no forced content and no pricey advertising requirements. If users log in to the app, they’ll see updates from the organizations they choose to follow.

So how, exactly, does Knowtice make money? It offers organizations a superior product at a lower price. While every organization is eligible for a free profile listing in one category of its choice, they also have the opportunity to upgrade with more than 150 available customizations and additional marketing tools based on their needs. The price starts at just $250 per year, and Knowtice staff members and interns can walk each organization through the options.

“Knowtice puts local businesses, local users and local students first,” said Harold W. Byrd, president of the Shelby County Chamber Alliance and vice chairman and president of the Bank of Bartlett. “As a business owner and one of our region’s biggest cheerleaders, the Knowtice vision resonates with me. It’s good for businesses. It’s good for students. And it’s great for our community.”

And although the hyperlocal feel is easy when launching in your hometown, Throckmorton’s goal is for the app to maintain its community feel as it becomes available in other cities, too.

“We are, first and foremost, a community-minded communication tool,” Throckmorton said. “Giving local businesses a low-cost advertising tool that in turn supports students creates a healthy and supportive marketplace for all.”

Philanthropic structure
In addition to the communication problem, Throckmorton felt a personal desire to address a larger societal issue – student debt. So, he built a solution into his business in the form of a philanthropic model to help students and families.

“I have three children, and between our personal experience and the overwhelming student loan debt faced by thousands of college graduates every year, I recognized this business as an opportunity to make a difference.”

The philanthropic structure has two facets: a paid internship program and a scholarship program. Rather than spend its budget on high-dollar marketing tactics, Knowtice will instead hire interns from colleges in each state in which it operates, as dictated by the needs of its community. The interns will reach out to local organizations to educate them on Knowtice’s available upgrades, including up to 150 customizations available beyond their free profiles. Organizations that opt to upgrade then select which participating college in their state they would like to support. Then, each year, Knowtice gives 40% of every dollar in revenue back to these colleges and their students through scholarships and paid internships. In Tennessee, the first participating colleges to come on board are The University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.

“In 2020, many internship and scholarship opportunities halted as a result of the pandemic,” said Dr. Kathy Tuberville, director of the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center at The University of Memphis. “It’s heartening to see organizations like Knowtice prioritize our students with a dedicated program like this one. We’re looking forward to this partnership to help our students benefit from more internship opportunities. The program, which will bring internships, scholarships and connections with more local businesses from across the Mid-South, will be a win-win for all involved.”

About Knowtice
Founded by Kermit Throckmorton, Knowtice is a smartphone app that improves communication between organizations and their stakeholders and that puts end users in control of their content – with no algorithm to interfere. Knowtice supports participating colleges and their students through paid internships and contributions to each school’s scholarship fund, a result of its singular philanthropic structure, which designates 40% of all revenue for that purpose. For more information, download Knowtice on the App Store or on Google Play, or visit KnowticeApp.com.

Memphian launches community-based smartphone app with philanthropy at its core
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