Fixity: Helping Fix Your City

locally created app wins entrepreneurial challenge

Tom Giffey

An app that allows users to report problems about their city and to make recommendations about how to fix them was recently named the winner of the annual Idea Challenge held by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp. Fixity, which was developed by Andrew Niese, won the grand prize of $5,000 towards reimbursable business expenses. Niese, of Eau Claire, said he came up with the idea for the app a few years ago when he took up running. “I’d keep noticing things like overgrown branches blocking the sidewalk, and dangerous crosswalks,” he said. “When I tried calling the city, sometimes it was tough to reach the right people, or describe exactly where the issues were, so I thought maybe this was something that software could help with.” Currently, Fixity is in a limited beta test, and Niese says the prize money will help market the app and allow it to be expanded to more cities. (Check out Fixity at freshsoftware.com/fixity.) Four other local business ideas were finalists in the competition: Shockless Chisel by Thomas Zimbauer Jr. (“an ergonomically designed chisel to ease the discomfort of use for home renovation projects”); Payload by Eric Boud (“a new type of functional ammo packaging”); Foam Forge LLC by Ronald Barribeau (customized foam weapons for fun and fighting”); and Revolutionary Studios by Nick Scherrer (“a 3D scanning company”). The Idea Challenge began in 2007, and since 2011 it has been able to offer cash awards to winners with the help of Northwestern Bank. Learn more at www.eauclaire-wi.com/entrepreneurs/idea-challenge