JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A young entrepreneur traveled across the country to make his dreams come true in the River City.
Zachary Schwartz, 29, moved to Duval County from California with an idea to turn his family business into an app designed to encourage locals and visitors to explore more.
After several years, Schwartz successfully created an app called Intogo. It launched in November 2016.
"It's an app to help people explore the community around in them," said creator Zach Schwartz. "But our mission is to help people explore, experience, and enjoy their local community."
The app was so successful, Visit Jacksonville has partnered with Schwartz to make the Intogo app the official destination app for the city of Jacksonville.
The Intogo app connects users to thousands of places and events on the First Coast.
"We showcase everything parks, destinations, live music, entertainment, local events, family fun, outdoor recreation, dining, shopping," Schwartz said.
Katie Mitura with Visit Jacksonville says the partnering with Schwartz is the perfect opportunity to expand tourism in Jacksonville.
"Over 60 percent of those visitors that are assessing visitjacksonville.com on a monthly basis are doing so by a mobile phone or tablet, so they're already on a mobile device," Mitura said.
According to Schwartz the free app is different from other apps on the market.
"Intogo is like the Pandora for things to do," Schwartz explained. "You thumbs-up and thumbs down on activities, on dinner, and entertainment and it begins to learn your interest."
Here's how the app works: Intogo uses a swipe motion to learn your preferences. You rate events, restaurants, activities, and more by swiping them left, right, up, or down. If it's something that you'd like, you'd swipe right. If it's something you don't like, swipe left. Swiping down says you love it and swiping up means you're undecided.
Once the app learns your preferences, it then recommends activities to do.
"After you swipe through a few times you click on let's go, then you get collections, or as Visit Jacksonville calls them, itineraries, please answer age-old questions like where can I eat on the water? What are some ideas I can go out on a date," Schwartz said.
Schwartz says businesses owners can also claim their business and post their events for free.
Clay County and St. Augustine are also part of the app. Schwartz says in the future he hopes to expand throughout the U.S.
"It's absolutely free, and it has everything fun to do in the entire city." Schwartz said. "You have nothing to lose by downloading it. And if you don't like it, delete it. But give it a try."