Zachary S. Founder & CEO, App Development Industry
A few years ago I was living in Southern California building an online directory that morphed into the creation of a pretty neat product. After deciding I wanted to take this product public and pursue entrepreneurship full time, I moved to Jacksonville. My family moved here a few months earlier and happily welcomed me with open arms.
Upon arriving in Fleming Island, I was excited for the opportunity to begin building my business. Clay County is beautiful - the neighborhood and its surroundings were so quaint. Shortly after the move, I was surprised by the landscape and expanse of the beaches, parks and places to explore. Southern California is densely populated by commercial and residential areas, so there aren’t many outdoor recreational options. So when I came to JAX I was surprised by the amount of greenspace - parks are everywhere. Many people don’t know, but Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the country, with more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres and there’s some serious hiking opportunities near where the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean meet.
Although I’m not crazy about the humidity here, the weather here is quite beautiful. It’s hardly ever too hot, except a few months in mid-summer, never really too cold either. Northeast Florida has some of the best weather I have experienced in the different places I’ve lived across the United States.
A Place for Business
My dream upon moving here was to build a new age directory for people to further explore their communities beyond their backyards. Initially, I wanted to go nationwide, but the reality in the app world is that concepts must be proven successful in a single market first before scaling. So I was happy to have JAX as the first market for my app – named intoGo.
intoGo focuses on places where people can go to enjoy life, create memories and share experiences. By simply swiping left or right, intoGo learns what you love, then makes personalized recommendations tailored just for you. Since its inception, intoGo has grown to become the most extensive entertainment guide JAX has ever seen. I can’t wait to see where this venture will take me next.
Cut from the Same Cloth
I’ve found my JAX in the people. This city is home to some of the warmest and most welcoming people that I’ve ever met anywhere on earth. The small town charm is evident all around and everyone seems to know everyone. Year by year, this region continues to grow on me as the people I meet become woven into the fabric of my life – it is because of these people that I now call JAX my home.