Museum app creator, Guru, wins $100k funding from Qualcomm Ventures

San Diego-based tech company, Guru, has netted $100k worth of funding as part of a competition at SeismicsSD 2017.

The event, sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures, saw nine start-ups compete for the prize. According to a spokesman, over 300 people attended, around a third of whom were investors.

Museum app creator, Guru, scooped the top honours following a hotly-contested pitch session. The prize was presented by the Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer.

The company has created an app to help people navigate museum collections, bringing the stories of exhibits to life. Current clients include the San Diego Museum of Art and Battleship Iowa.

The company said it was thrilled with the prize:

“But mostly, we are feeling thankful – thankful to each and every one of our partners for taking a chance on Guru as we wouldn’t be here without them. We are beyond excited to continue innovating, growing, and making the San Diego community proud.”

The company also won $100,000 in cloud services/support credits from Amazon Web Services and $25,000 in legal services from DLA Piper.

Guru is the brainchild of Paul Burke who saw the potential of turning a distracting smart phone into a powerful engagement tool.

The company’s range of apps incorporate augmented reality to transform a tablet or phone into a tour guide. Bluetooth allows the app to pinpoint the user’s location and deliver content appropriate to the exhibit they are viewing.

According to Guru, the app has been shown to boost group tour revenue by as much as 63 percent. Re-engagement is also high at 52 percent.

“Guru has elevated the museum experience,” says Kari Kovach, San Diego Museum of Art Director of Marketing & Communications. “The breadth and depth of backstories, historical context, and interesting facts within the app are extraordinary. Most importantly, it allows the Museum to augment and extend the conversation with its visitors.”