Are you looking for a cool new way to promote a destination? Are you a destination marketer, an hotel owner, an event organizer or you  are just someone who knows very well the place you live in and would like to promote your town? You must try map2app then!
A web-platform that allows you to create a mobile travel guide for iPhone and Android, publish and distribute it through the main app stores.
Do you know WordPress? Well, imagine something with the same ease of use, but for creating mobile travel guides. Cool, uh? 

Why are we talking about it?
One month ago Map2App has been awarded world’s best app at the UN-based World Summit Award for mobile content (WSA-mobile) in the section m-Tourism & Culture! Moreover, the founders Pietro Ferraris (CEO), Michele Orsi (CTO) and Simone Biagiotti (COO), received a seed investment by Mind the Seed and are now attending the MTB Accelerator Program in San Francisco.

Indeed, Map2app is a US entity, incorporated in San Francisco in 2012.

But let’s dig a little deeper in map2app’s story…

Pietro, first of all, why map2app?

The reason why I created map2app is that I love traveling but when I travel there is one thing that really bothers me: I collect tons of paper. Every place I visit has a brochure, a local map or something printed on paper, usually with little information and not very useful. Moreover, if we look at this under a marketing point of view, brochures and maps are pretty inefficient, since they are expensive, their usage can not be tracked, they can not been updated (unless you re-print everything) and, last but not least, they are not environmental friendly.
map2app is a tool that allows destination managers, hotel owners, travel publishers, visitor centers and many other actors of the travel promotion market to create their own mobile travel guides and publish them as an app for iPhone and Android.
We also collaborate with tens of travel bloggers and travel enthusiasts giving them a chance to create a travel guide with their content, for their audience. Thanks to these amazing people we had
been able to publish really unconventional travel guides, such as one about “where to buy spices in Turkey” or one about “Antartica” or one about “Woody Alle’s favorite places in New York”.
map2app is changing the way travel destinations promote themselves!

You founded it as a US corporation last April 2012. Why did you start it in US?

Because it is a huge market that is investing billions in travel marketing. Think that this year “Brand USA” alone, the national travel promotion agency, will invest $80 billion in destination promotion!
Moreover the US market is very responsive about this kind of new web tools and finally, by virtue of being here, we receive constant valuable feedback from advisors and other startups.

The private beta of map2app was launched approximately one year ago. What’s happened since that moment to now? What are the most important achievements?

April the 4th will be our first birthday. In these months our customers published more than 200 apps that have been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
On average, the apps created using map2app got 4+ stars both on the Apple Store and on Google Play and this is a huge achievement for us because it means that the final users enjoy the apps created using our platform.
We also won a bunch of pretty important awards. Among these, the Mind the Bridge acceleration program, the World Summit Award, we have been selected as “best practice” within the European Project e-Create and we won the Italian Innovation Forum in Turin, few months ago.

A heads up of next steps? Already bought your new house in San Francisco? 🙂

Not yet! 🙂
To be really, really honest, as of today I live with Michele, my coFounder, and Daniele, one of the member of our team in a small apartment in San Francisco, right on the ocean but far away from everything.
We have a lot of new amazing features in our pipeline that we are releasing on a monthly base. The aim for 2013 is to publish 1000 apps and we are on our way to reach this goal.
Buying a house in San Francisco is not exactly in my plans, I prefer sailing boats. 😉