It’s not every day that a 25-year-old from Kilmichael, only three years out of college, comes up with a simple way for everyone to share and see photos from a special event. However, Michael Davis did just that, and the congregation of Winona Baptist Church celebrated Davis’ invention last Sunday -- fitting for it to be the last Sunday in Black History Month.
Davis, a 2012 graduate of Montgomery County High School and a 2016 graduate of the University of Mississippi, said he came up with the app because it was a headache to track down pictures from an event he wanted to see or may have missed.
“It was my curiosity to see the pictures that people take at any event that led to my app,” he said.
Davis said he wanted to solve the problem that many events have. Now days, it’s cute to come up with a hashtag for an event that people can share and should use.
For those who have no idea what on earth a hashtag is, it’s a series of words behind the pound sign. For example, #WinonaTimesAndTheConservative. The pound symbol in the list of words, is commonly referred to as a hashtag.
The problem? Not everyone remembers to use the hashtag so when pictures as posted, people have to be tagged, and it can take forever going from page to page just to see pictures. To solve the problem, Davis created EventApp, a way for people to share one photo album of pictures collectively taken by everyone at an event and that one photo album can be shared to on every social media platform.
“The way it works is that, let’s say you have a get together at your house, and you want people to post pictures to the group. You go to the app, create your event: LaKeadra’s house party, then upload it to app, and those pictures will only be seen by those that attended. And you make the group public by sharing the group on any social media platform.”
He said he wanted a way to make it simpler.
“I wanted to create a space where pictures could be shared collective in one group and everyone at the event could see the pictures taken. It increases engagement on all sites,” he said.
Davis said the app is performing well.
“It’s being used by a lot of people,” he said.
This isn’t Davis’ first app. He said he created his first app while attending Ole Miss.
“My only focus after I graduated high school was starting my own business. I went to Northeast Community College where I played two years of football. I then went to the University of Mississippi. But, I didn’t play football anymore, so I had a lot of free time on my hands, and I wanted to find something constructive to get into.”
He said he received an e-mail to come to an entrepreneurship meeting.
“I went to one of their meetings and fell in love with it.”
Davis said during the meetings, they would discuss app ideas. He decided to try his hand at creating his own app, but at the time, he was still a business major and didn’t know much about coding and programming.
Davis said after speaking with his advisor, the two agreed that it would be a good idea for him to change his major to information technology.
He said after learning about coding and programming, he developed Impster. Davis said the app is an anonymous crowd sourcing app – meaning that it’s based off of public decision.
“Let’s say you can’t decide if you want McDonald’s or Taco Bell, you can go to the app and crowd source your decision. And, people don’t know who you are. It’s for any decision that you have. You may want to know where the best restaurants in Memphis are, it’s a voting system.”
He said the app did well for him and it opened a door that he had never considered.
Davis, who works in cyber security in Memphis, also has a startup software development company.
“I help other people with building apps as well. I just started it, and I put my information out there two weeks ago and it’s been received very well. I’ve been having meetings with potential clients.”
He said it’s a consulting company that helps clients develop concrete plans, works within their budgets to help create apps and guides them along the way.
Not only does Davis has a startup company, but he also has a podcast with three of his friends called “Hot Buttered Business.”
“It’s myself and three other entrepreneurs, and we discuss our journeys and subjects that every entrepreneur will go through. We help people to navigate the business world and give advice on personal experience, and the podcast is available on all major platforms.”
Davis said right now, the app is self-invested, and he wants to keep it that way for now.
“I like it this way. I’ve made progress by myself. Later on, I’ll start looking for investors,” he said. But, Davis said right now, he’s been doing well on his own. “I don’t want to give up so much of my company.”
When asked he’d ever consider going on Shark Tank, he said that he would if given the opportunity to go on the show and present his app before the show’s well known investors.
He said the biggest thing for him is the support he’s received from Memphis, the surrounding cities, and his colleagues, but for him it’s seeing the support that Kilmichael and Montgomery County as a whole has shown him.
“Seeing my community get behind me, it’s really overwhelming the support I’ve received from my hometown. I wasn’t expecting that.”
He said being 25 and accomplishing what he has, shows him that he has a bright future ahead of him.
“It shows the kids back at home and here in Memphis that I had the same opportunities that you have and that it’s possible. You have to look outside of what you see every day.”