A real-time local chat app.

What's the big idea?

Chalq is a chat app that provides a better platform for local and community engagement. It’s simple to use and always shows the hottest topics/trends in your area.

The app finds your location and shows you messages within a specified distance radius. Anytime you add a hashtag in a message, it adds it into the hashtag list. Most used hashtags trend towards the front of the list to always show the hottest topics. Swipe through the hashtag list to filter for messages using that topic. Chalq is about being in the moment, messages are wiped away from the feed 24hrs after posting.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

Twitter, other social media, other chat apps. No local chat app/message board has become a major player yet.

How are you different from that player?

Twitter and other social media is more for a global audience, trends, and topics. Chalq’s goal is to be the go to for local. The unique concept behind Chalq and the user experience/design will set it apart from other competitors.

How does this idea scale into a big business?

When people find the product easy to use and useful, then it will grow. Once the app has scaled a bit, there are a few revenue models that could be introduced. An example would be featured local trends.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

I love helping out local communities and improving engagement. I’m a designer and I work on and with apps everyday. Mobile applications are my passion.

What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?

$5000 will go towards developing and launching the app. You can click/tap through the current screenshot prototype here >

There have been 5 replies to this page

  1. Eric Boersma

    Andy how do you generate revenue with this app?  It’s a good idea, but I always wonder how apps monetize their concept. With it being so “fast” in nature is there a way to micro advertise based upon what’s trending?  Example with ArtHop would be that its a trending topic for Kalamazoo, so could you advertise based upon geo speicific locations quickly enough to create a compelling reason for advertisers to want to join in?  Could you create an ecosystem where companies prepurchase a set amount of impressions that are served up once a geospecific topic is trending?

  2. Andy Peninger


    Eric, that is one idea for a potential revenue model. Once you pay for a trend, it would go to the front of the list.
    Ultimately, the revenue model would work itself out once the app gets going. The model would be designed to integrate without interference to users current usage patterns based on the research and data we are able to gather.

  3. Benjamin Edgar


    Hey Andy - do you have a developer lined up?  And will $5K cover the start-to-finish work to land you in the app store?

  4. Andy Peninger


    Hi Benjamin, I don’t currently. $5K might cover it if I find an individual. $5K through a company is probably unlikely to cover it. Determining the best route for the backend will make the figures more clear. I’m also open to the idea of partnerships/cofounders etc.

  5. Mike Banks

    Hello Andy,

    Congrats on earning the $5k! I am intrigued by your idea and it ties in closely to an app I am trying to raise money to finish developing. If you have time, it would be interesting to talk/skype/meet in person to bounce some ideas off one another. If interested, I will send you some info about what I am doing and we can take it from there. You can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Hope to hear from you!

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This idea was funded by Start Garden staff endorsement on April 10, 2014.