Social Planning App Bridges Local Events With Mobile Devices via Geolocation

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ZookCity, by San Francisco-based, officially launches updated version with improved features in iTunes.

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We created an event planner that enables full advantage of your mobile phone, to provide a completely integrated experience in event planning.

ZookCity, a social-planning app created by a San Francisco-based startup co-founded by Michiel van der Vlugt and Clara Ko, officially launched an enhanced version in the iTunes store this week. ZookCity is designed as a tool for connecting friends with events in real life. Users browse through local businesses and events, plan meet-ups, and invite guests with the help of Facebook, email and phone contact syncing.

“We wanted to create an event planner that enables you to take full advantage of your mobile phone, using phone’s contacts, geolocation, direction/map capabilities, and calendar, to provide a completely integrated experience in event planning,” said Michiel van der Vlugt, CEO of ZookCity.

With its mobile-locating technology, ZookCity displays all local happenings and events in the user’s area. Using the app to discover nearby restaurants, sports events, shopping, theater shows, concerts and much more, ZookCity has now made it easier than ever for the public to get to know a city they may not be familiar with, and plan activities with their friends. Unlike Facebook events, ZookCity now enables invitations to go out by SMS or email, as well as Facebook, because not everyone’s friends are on Facebook, or want to be reached via Facebook. Guests can RSVP to events they’re invited to, even if they don’t have the app, by following a link to the ZookCity website. Group messaging, and photo-posting also serve as updated key features for sharing memories from the events.

“We noticed that many planning apps are only focused on planning, but we wanted to do more - we wanted to provide ideas for things to do, like event listings and ticket options for concerts, sporting events, and theater performances. We also wanted to enable last minute or impromptu meetings by making it very easy and fast to create an event at your current or a nearby location and get quick responses from your friends,” said Clara Ko, Chief Product Officer of ZookCity.

ZookCity is available for free in the iTunes App Store in the US and Canada, as well as in select countries internationally.

An Android version is in the works and will be available soon. For more information, visit


ZookCity is founded by Michiel van der Vlugt and Clara Ko.

Michiel van der Vlugt holds a degree in computer science and a MBA at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. With a background in IT Operations, where he managed a team responsible for business-critical applications in an energy firm, Michiel gives unique insight in how to make software that is reliable and maintainable. As the CEO, he oversees the day-to-day business for ZookCity and is fully involved with the creation and design of the app.

Clara Ko is from San Francisco and has a Computer Science degree at U.C. Berkeley. During her career in tech, she has worked in a variety of roles from developer to software architect to development manager, within a variety of industries, including finance, energy, electronics, and publishing software. As a proven leader in agile methodologies, she focuses on processes that enable the right outcomes. At ZookCity, she leads the product development, applying her technical skills and using adaptive metrics to create a superior user experience.

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