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Entrepreneurs

UNCW Grad Launches Website Highlighting What's Good

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Feb 5, 2024
Megan Rowe (shown at right), a University of North Carolina Wilmington graduate, and her brother Dustin (at left) co-founded What's Good, a business and event listings website that launched last week. (Photo courtesy of Megan Rowe)
There is no shortage of things to do in the Port City, but with so many online avenues, Megan Rowe found it hard to find what she was looking for.

Rowe sought to remedy this problem with her company, What’s Good, which launched last week. Megan, 25, and her brother Dustin, 28, built an algorithm and website in 2023 that compiles events and small businesses into categories like events, activities, restaurants, kid-friendly and more.

Megan Rowe graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2020 and began working for a digital marketing agency, Brave Creative, in the Cargo District. It was there that she helped small business owners market themselves, just one of many tasks required of small business owners, Rowe said. She wanted to lift that burden off their shoulders.

The Rowe siblings share a love of technology and entrepreneurship. Dustin is a self-taught coder and Megan taught herself user experience and user interface (UX/UI). Both have founded companies prior to What’s Good, although neither are still operating. They wanted to create a new venture to solve a problem for business owners as well as themselves.

Megan and Dustin both live in happening cities, she said, her in Wilmington and Dustin in St. Petersburg, Florida. They both felt the need for a common place for all event listings to go — and investors agreed. The siblings, along with their third co-founder, Mahmud Ahsan, secured about $100,000 in seed funding from two Wrightsville Beach-based private investors.

One of the investors was drawn to the project because he recently exited a tech company, Megan Rowe said, although she did not name either investor. She said they were able to find investment through word-of-mouth in the Wilmington community.

“I've been in Wilmington for a pretty long time, so it just started off as like, I would tell my friends what I was working on, and then they'd be like, ‘Oh, wait, I know somebody that is wealthy and might be interested in this.’” Megan Rowe said. “And so it was really just friends of friends that introduced us to potential investors.”

The interface has only two cities to choose from right now, Wilmington and St. Pete, and buttons categorizing the listings. Dustin and Ahsan built a digital funnel that scrapes the internet for events and businesses and pushes that data through an AI model that pulls out relevant information like time, place and other event details, Megan Rowe said.

After the data is compiled, she looks through and curates the listings before publishing them on the website, checkwhatsgood.com. The company does not bill the businesses for the listings; as of now it is a free service. In the future, Megan Rowe said, the business could use a paid model to boost listings to the top of the algorithm, but they have no plans to introduce that feature yet.

Features that are coming down the pike are recommendations from local influencers, a search and filter application and the ability to sort by proximity, Megan Rowe said.

The What’s Good founders are interested in entering a startup accelerator, she said, and are working up to their fundraising goal of $250,000.

A launch party is in the works, she said. Everything has gone smoothly since the launch on Feb. 1. Since the website is live online, they are not doing any extra marketing other than “guerilla marketing tactics” on social media, Megan Rowe said. They are hoping people’s searches of ‘things to do in Wilmington’ will spark traffic on the site.

“We're very bare bones in what's launched,” she said. “And we have a lot on our agenda that's going to be rolling out in the next couple of months.”
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