The San Antonio-based entrepreneur uses his knowledge of technology and passion for community-building to spur innovation.
Building community involves offering neighbors opportunities to share a local identity and forge meaningful connections with one another. When a strong sense of community emerges, we can cut across divides in pursuit of common goals. Where innovation and local action combine, leaders shine.
Evntures Creates New Ways to Experience Community
The driver behind innovation is consistent improvement. San Antonio entrepreneur Roberto Jolliffe has always sought ways to make things better. Equipped with a lifelong love for learning and skillset in technology, Jolliffe combined these passions with the launch of Evntures, an app to help discover local events during travel or to enjoy throughout communities.
"I've been tinkering with technology since I was a little kid, either with Android phones, converting them to iPhones, and I've just always been one to naturally either build or think of things," Jolliffe said.
The idea for Evntures came while vacationing in Thailand and the frustration of not finding things to do while there.
"I'm trying to find something to do, and realize [existing apps] have events with all these websites. But I was looking for something that wasn't pulled automatically. You should be able to walk into a city and find things to do and not just be searching."
For Jolliffe, it was all about authenticity and finding ways to experience the community and the culture.
"Outside of the touristy things to do, even like in San Antonio, outside of the Riverwalk and the Alamo, people are looking for what else to do."
Jolliffe and his team built the Evntures app in 2019 and launched it in February 2020, a mere three weeks ahead of the pandemic. For many, circumstances like these would be enough to throw an idea off course. For Jolliffe, however, the setback meant finding creative ways to get the word out and allow feedback to come back organically.
"It wasn't too bad. It was just like something where we had to hibernate. So we tried to do marketing; we did social media pushes through our social media contacts that we had working for us. The app was still running, though, and in the background, you could see there are still downloads happening organically through the app store algorithm."
The results were a welcome surprise to Jolliffe and further proved the app's reach and potential.
"It was pulling people, and these people that are pulling from are from the UK, from Chicago…and they're downloading the app and looking for things to do in their cities. Those were some of the main issues. We weren't in the places where people wanted us soon enough."
The app indicated what every community felt during the past two years, a strong desire to return to normal functions. That desire spurned the natural, organic growth of the platform.
"[The app users] are trying to find more things like they're at home. They're trying to stay in a certain radius. They're not traveling as much, so they're asking themselves where else they can go or what else they can do. From that, we got up to nearly 3,600 downloads with no promotion or ads."
Jolliffe Will Connect More Communities To Foster Collaboration
Evntures is currently working with developers to find ways to rebuild the monetization aspects of the app.
"The UI, UX stuff works, but people want to see the monetization features. We have the framework built out to loosely get them implemented into the app."
Expanding the areas the app operates in and connecting them with others to find new events, ideals, and people is central to Jolliffe's vision.
"Right now we're in talks with a community group called Ready. We're looking at synergies and bringing communities together. Meeting new people, but also going to new places to find new things to do. We're looking at the next steps in that collaboration, seeing how to [partner] and bring community events together."
As for Jolliffe, the pandemic allowed him to explore personal pursuits that led to additional opportunities. When he's not tinkering with developing bigger and better technology, he's in the studio recording voiceovers for clients like Kellogg's, the San Antonio Spurs, Live Nation, John Deere, and others.
Through his voice work, Jolliffe has built strong business relationships that shape how he presents his brand to the world. But, perhaps his true passion is using his voice to motivate others to go out and pursue their dreams.
"I think the key is to just immerse yourself. You can't have one foot in, one foot out. You really have to jump in and if there's something you're trying to be a part of, go in and learn and be open to learning. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Put your thoughts out there and really have good intentions behind what you're trying to do and be a part of."