Earn cool gifts just by spending time at your favorite local businesses!

![Andrew Petrovics & Sydney Unruh of Pointz App](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/11/Pointz-founders.PNG)
*Andrew & Sydney Hangin' Out at Sloss*

What if you could earn cool items like exclusive t-shirts, bags, Gift Cards, and even tickets to your favorite events just by supporting your favorite local businesses?! Well, Andrew Petrovics and Sydney Unruh have created an app that helps you do just that! The **[Pointz](https://www.pointz.io/)** app is taking Birmingham by storm and is beginning to move into other markets. The best part, is that it’s FREE to use and supports LOCAL businesses! I sat down with the co-founders to get the inside scoop on the story behind Pointz. ___
**HitH:** Can you tell me what inspired the idea for the Pointz App?
**Andrew:** Growing up working in small, local businesses for most of my early life and then eventually starting a career as a software engineer, I was always passionate about figuring out ways technology could help local businesses. After getting some great experience with companies such as NASA, HP, and eventually Regions here in Birmingham, I decided to quit my job and focus full time on figuring out ways to use technology to help local businesses.

HitH: How does it work? Do users need to enter anything in the app?

Andrew: Pointz is powered by Bluetooth beacons. All customers have to do is download the app, turn on your Bluetooth, and start earning points for spending time in local businesses. You can redeem those points within the app for awesome rewards (anything from gift cards to t-shirts to Red Mountain Adventure passes).

Grow your Business with Pointz!

*Use Pointz to Grow Your Local Business!*

**Hith:** What do business owners need to do in order to participate?
**Andrew:** All businesses have to do is place a Bluetooth beacon in their business and offer points. We take care of the rest.
![Pointz App Built in Birmingham](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/11/Pointz-built-in-bham.PNG)
*Pointz App was built and developed right here in Birmingham!*

**HitH:** Why did you choose to start in Birmingham?
**Sydney:** Birmingham yields so many essential ingredients necessary to our success like experienced mentors with local connections, access to capital, and the AMAZING local food scene.

HitH: How receptive has Birmingham been to the idea?

Sydney: Everyone that we have spoken to so far has been very receptive of Pointz. I believe Birmingham is ready to go "all-in" when it comes to the growing tech industry, and we have certainly felt the effects of this positive support.
Cahaba Brewing Company on Pointz

*Earn Pointz at Local Breweries like Cahaba Brewing Co.!*

**HitH:** How will Pointz help local businesses and reward customers?
**Sydney:** Our entire goal is to get more people spending more time in local businesses. That's why we reward our users for doing that very thing. When someone shops local, they are supporting their community. It truly is a win-win scenario.

HitH: What made you decide to focus on "local only" businesses?

Sydney: When you support local businesses, the money stays in the economy and goes towards our roads, police, schools, and hospitals. Everyone in the community benefits.

Pointz App Locations

*Just a Sampling of Places that Earn You Pointz!*

**HitH:** Is there a specific type of business that Pointz works with?
**Sydney:** Any brick-and-mortar, customer-facing business. Right now we are focused on restaurants, breweries, gyms, bars, and salons.

HitH: Where do you see Pointz heading in the future?

Andrew: We see Pointz being used in local businesses across the nation and eventually becoming its own cryptocurrency.

Download the Pointz App!

*Download the Pointz App Today!*

**Hith:** How can people get started?
**Sydney:** Download the app, turn on Bluetooth, and go visit local places.
___ You can download the app **[HERE](https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pointz/id1209791239?mt=8)** and start earning Pointz now! Some of the participating businesses are *[Tropicaleo](https://www.facebook.com/tropicaleobham/)*, *[Roots & Revelry](https://www.facebook.com/rootsandrevelry/)*, a host of local breweries, *[Pure Fitness](https://www.facebook.com/purefitnessllc/)*, *[Revelator Coffee](https://www.facebook.com/RevelatorCoffeeCompany/)*, *[Alabama Peanut Co.](https://www.facebook.com/alabamapeanut/)*, and MORE! Check **[HERE](https://www.pointz.io/)** for a full list, or to sign up your own local business!
![Pointz at Alabama Peanut Co.](https://s3.amazonaws.com/happenins-in-the-ham/2018/11/pointz-peanuts.PNG)
*Earn Pointz at Alabama Peanut Co.*

##Hidden Places
A cool bonus feature to the app is “Hidden Places.” These will primarily be Birmingham landmarks. If you have your app enabled, and are exploring the landmark, you’ll accrue points to put towards one of the cool rewards which are offered! Pointz plans to drop clues as to where these places may be.
The thing that excites us most about the Pointz app is the fact that they help highlight local businesses and reward you for your patronage. It’s also nice that you don’t have to enter anything into the app to accrue points. We plan on taking full advantage of the app when we are hanging out at our favorite Birmingham locations!
--Be sure to follow Pointz on **[FACEBOOK](https://www.facebook.com/pointz/?ref=br_rs)**, **[INSTAGRAM](https://www.instagram.com/pointz_app/)**, and **[TWITTER](https://twitter.com/pointz_app)**!--

-Russell H.