Brett Foreman working at Kick-It Points app in SLO HotHouse.
Photo by Adrian Martino / Special Contributor – Journalism 201A
By Adrian Martino
When he arrived at Cal Poly, Brett Foreman, a 23-year-old soccer player, did not realize that the most important scored goal of his life would not happen inside the soccer field, but behind a computer.
There he created Kick-It Points, the innovative app that brings together activities, socialization and where its users can redeem deals in local businesses.
On a typical Saturday on Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, families window shop and young people gather to socialize. Unaware of this excitement, at SLO HotHouse, a community space created to support students and community members alike as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures, Foreman is working.
Surrounded by several other startups, he plans to expand his business. This is the next step in a journey that started with the simple desire to play soccer and to study at a quality university.
Foreman came to Cal Poly in 2013. That same year, he started playing in the Cal Poly Mustangs menâ€™s soccer team. As the Mustangs’ number 15, he played as a defender and eventually as a midfielder.
â€œBecause I could have an opportunity to play soccer at Cal Polyâ€¦ I chose to go thereâ€¦ the education there is really profound as well,â€ explained Foreman. â€œThat was my number one for sure.â€
Foreman graduated June 2017 in Bachelorâ€™s in Business Administration, concentrating on Information Systems.
Foreman fell in love with San Luis Obispo. Studying information systems at Cal Poly, he realized that technology was becoming more and more the “thing of the future”, and he decided to learn this language. Foreman had some ideas for apps.
At first he searched for a few people to help him build apps. The result was discouraging: some people wanted money and some would not devote the time. He was done waiting.
â€œI just picked up the computer, looked at some tutorials online, gathered all the resources andâ€¦ I taught myself how to do it all and now we are here today with a super cool software we can offer as a service,â€ Foreman proudly said.
In his first project, Foreman focused on creating an app that could blend digital layers with real-world images. By using real images, Foreman hoped to encourage people not to stay indoors using their cell phones, but rather to explore outdoor activities in the real world.
After three months of working on the project, Foreman realized that he may be working on something that will be used in 20 years. It was time to create something different, closer to the current reality, this was when Kick-It Points was born.
The app features deals to users from local merchants. To be featured on the app, a merchant pays $25 per month. Once the partnership is established, the merchant is immediately exposed to the Kick-It Points user base. The app uses geo-fencing technology that enables businesses to place their deals at the location of their choice.
In addition to having full control over the choice of the locations of their deals, merchants can place deals at certain times of the day that result in greater exposure or even combine deals involving affiliate businesses.
For users, the app is free and offers a very simple interface. Just open the map and find out which stores have discounts and go to Kick-It Point location to claim the reward. Redeeming deals is easy too. The user just has to show merchant the app. Users can also tailor the app to only show the activities and deals that most attract them.
â€œIf you looking for date ideas, why not go to a hiking destination, watch the sunset with your date and grab your discount for a frozen yogurt later on,â€ Foreman suggests.
The success of local merchants is critical to Kick-It Points growth. For this reason, the company works closely with merchants, meeting the individual needs of each one.
â€œWe really offer the ability to be anywhere at onceâ€¦you can have a storefront in downtown San Luis Obispoâ€¦but with this app, if you place a deal in Avila Beach or on Bishops Peak or on Cal Poly campus, you essentially have different stores fronts per location,â€ Foreman said.
The first positive results are already beginning to appear in local commerce.
In the promising, but very competitive apps market, Kick-It points is expanding. Today the app has 22 affiliated businesses from different sectors like gastronomy, wellness and outdoor activities.
â€œThe app still new but I received a handful of new customers who came through the app,â€ Chelsea Brescia, a Pismo Beach merchant, celebrates happily. â€œThese customers would not find us if not through the app.â€
The expansion plan includes the prospection of other locations in California that are similar to San Luis Obispo, with colleges and local businesses as a core, and eventually franchising it.
Just as the soccer player tirelessly seeks to score his goal, Foreman has dedicated himself to creating and expanding this company. Much more than a simple app, Kick-It Points has the unique feature of connect people, merchants, places and discounts. A true master move for such a young player.
â€œI love the app in first placeâ€¦ I am planning to utilize it a lot more,â€ Brescia said.