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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Listings platform PinSwarm creates a buzz at BetaDen

The Business Magazine article image for: Listings platform PinSwarm creates a buzz at BetaDen
17 October 2022

A Worcestershire entrepreneur who founded the UK’s number one business SMS messaging service TextLocal and went on to establish listings platform PinSwarm has become the latest founder to join Cohort 6.0 of Malvern-based technology accelerator BetaDen.

Alastair Shortland sold TextLocal to imimobile (part of Cisco) in October 2014, remaining with the company in a consultancy role until late 2017.

His new enterprise - PinSwarm - lists events, offers and social content around the world by location, allowing locals and people visiting an area to find out what is happening nearby in real time.

From events and business offers to live streamed social content, the site signposts people to what is happening in their local area, when they’re able to action it.

Commenting on his new venture, Alastair said: “The idea for PinSwarm came to me while I was looking after my children and trying to find suitable activities to do with them.

“So many listings sites tell you what is happening weeks in advance or in a location that’s actually quite a distance from where you are. Why did it have to be so difficult to find everything happening around me now?

“PinSwarm signposts users to local business news, special offers, local events, locally themed social media content, information on sports and community groups, all in one place.

"Pins can be created for almost anything and placed on the live map, where they can then be found quickly and easily by anyone searching for activities, services, or social content in their area.”

“Each pin is free for 24 hours, ensuring the site is up-to-date, after which they expire but can be extended for just 10p/day.”

To celebrate joining BetaDen, PinSwarm is offering anyone based in Worcestershire the opportunity to list content on its site free of charge until the end of 2022.

They have also committed to donating a percentage of their profits to charity, with St Richard’s Hospice named as the first beneficiary.

Donston Powell, communications manager at BetaDen, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Alastair and PinSwarm to BetaDen.

“Alongside expert commercial business support and access to valuable grant funds, one of the biggest benefits of the programme, as cited by recent cohort founders, is the access to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs it provides.

“With a wealth of serious commercial experience behind him, Alastair is a fantastic addition to the BetaDen family and we’re looking forward to supporting his team to develop PinSwarm to become the ‘go to’ listing site around the world.”


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Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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