After living in Italy for a few years, Jeffrey Fenton had an appetite for authentic Italian food when he returned to Toronto.
While he looked through the usual sources like TripAdvisor and Yelp, it was ultimately a waiter from one of his favourite Italian restaurants who gave him a list that would ensure he had a truly authentic Italian experience in the city.
“I found myself running into similar situations where I was looking for the perfect first date in Toronto or an authentic New York City experience, and I had an idea from this search of customized experiences.”
Today, Fenton is the founder of Stamp, an app that lets you create personalized experiences, called Passports, under any theme you like. Users can create passports for lists as broad as “The Best Way To Spend a Sunday in Toronto” to “The Best Buildings to See in Chicago.” Users can share their passports with their friends through social media – though Fenton is currently working on making a “most popular passports in Toronto” feature available. Currently, the app is in beta for the iPhone and is peer-to-peer, though their team is working on making public passports where people will be able to see popular lists in their area.
“I think this is where the magic is going to happen in searching a community’s worth of experiences, right now it’s private but we’re excited about people being able to look through other passports to see what’s relevant to them.”
The appeal in Stamp is in its highly customizable, personal experience.
“It gives users a blank canvas to assemble any type of experience that their friends and family will love,” Fenton says, noting that the app has a streamlined, grid-like template for easy and visually appealing use. “We’re letting local experts – whether it be in food, arts or entertainment – and we’re letting them become owners of their experiences and creating a platform where people can make the perfect combinations.”
Eventually, since the app uses a template that pulls location-specific information for recommendations, Fenton wants to integrate Uber into the app so that users can get to the recommended places on passports even faster.
“In the future, you’ll be able to view a recommendation and you’ll be able to tap it and hail an Uber cab to take you to that spot,” Fenton says. “We just want to connect people to these local spots as quickly and as easily as possible.”