While Silicon Valley has more techie start-ups than you can shake a stick at, NYC always seems to have to work a little bit harder to earn its geek cred. However, on April 16, that will change, when Foursquare, one of New York's standout home-based LBSs receives a special honor. On that symbolic date, Mayor Bloomberg has declared it "Foursquare Day."
As the Mayor puts it, "There is no better place than New York City to start a business. . . which Foursquare leading the way, we look forward to this generation's innovators and entrepreneurs making their mark on our City in the years to come."
Apparently the mayor's office reached out to Foursquare about getting involved after the "check-in" app's enthusiastic fan base actually campaigned on their behalf, tweeting up the possibility of creating a day in honor of Foursquare in NYC.
The social media service, which a year ago only had 1 million users, today is touting over 8.5 million - while it continues to scale exponentially. Revenue-wise, it has raised over $20 million in venture capital funding.
As far as what date would make the most sense, while the actual start date for the company in 2009 is unknown, for the last two years, the network has used the April 16 date to celebrate for its obvious reference to "4 squared equalling 16 - sort of like Pi Day, which is celebrated on 3/14 every year, because the ratio of a circumference of a circle equals 3.145926535.
Nate Bonilla-WarfordNate Bonilla-Warford, an optometrist by training actually came up with the concept - and when he shared it with the Foursquare team, they embraced the idea and the rest is history. Today, even exotic locales like Kuala Lumpur is celebrating Foursquare Day.
Co-founder Dennis Crowley said via email that he was “blown away” by the level of enthusiasm. “The city has been extremely supportive of what we're doing, and it's amazing to get this level of recognition from Mayor Bloomberg,” he said. “Both me and [co-founder Naveen Selvadurai] are long-term New Yorkers, and we have always felt like this is the best place to build a startup.”
Mayor Bloomberg visited Foursquare's office to announce the holiday, which will be celebrated with city-wide parties, business discounts and charity events. So while Mark Zuckerberg gets to entertain President Obama April 20th, that little-engine-that-could is starting to make its mark, and Bloomberg may be just the first step in Foursquare's reach for the White House's attention - and the possibility of a future proclamation that makes 4/16 a national holiday. Anybody want to wager any bets what year that might happen?