Kee Mobile App Driving The Social Rebirth of Detroit

By Madison Nagle and Thomas Herd

The Motor City recently uncovered its misplaced “Kee,” and as the service gains popularity, this mobile app is rapidly changing the social landscape in Detroit. Kee is a unique task management app for iPhone that helps you plan your day, find new events, and meet new people with similar likes and interests.

This app—which is currently running an open beta in Detroit—comes with an interactive smart schedule that seamlessly integrates essential events into your day and allows you to enter optional tasks you would like to accomplish around these essential events.

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The mission behind Kee is simple: the app strives to connect people and facilitate a more efficient marketplace for businesses and consumers. Kee also provides people with real life, enriching opportunities to connect and forge relationships, in essence allowing them to depend less on their smartphones. Users support local businesses while connecting with friends, and ultimately decreasing phone use as they become an active participant in their city.

Founder Jenna Hage-Hassan believes that Detroit is the optimal sample marketplace for this application as the city faces an enormous resurgence. Detroit has bounced back from the collapse of the auto industry and the Great Recession. The once bankrupt city is now transforming into a booming community where people want to live, work and play.

Hage-Hassan explains the inspiration behind Kee, “The energy and life in the Midtown area where Wayne State is located was amazing [where she obtained her Master’s Degree]. It really has a spirit that I’ve only seen in a handful of places around the world.  I noticed that despite all of the new and exciting things going on around us, my friends and I always ended up in the same spots. The community wants to be better informed, and small businesses and indie event venues want a better way to reach this community.  I set out to bridge this divide.”

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Kee is a way to connect a city such as Detroit with a huge geographic footprint. “It is true that our city is large and can feel very fragmented. By filtering events and experiences by type (music, art, culture) and filtering people with these same interest categories, Kee direct users to venues, people, and activities that are most likely to match these interests,” the founder explains.

By directing individuals with common interests to these venues and special events, Kee works to enhance niche communities within Detroit’s fragmented neighborhoods—and hoping to bridge these physical divides through the city in the process.

Kee is quickly becoming a major catalyst in the city’s renaissance, enabling individuals and businesses to connect and engage like never before amidst all the new opportunities and prosperity. With its recovery in motion, Detroit has quickly become an exemplary case study for other resurging cities across the nation. Once Kee demonstrates just how vibrant it can make the social landscape of Detroit look, it’s going to start expanding to enrich other recovering cities as well in the US.

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