Startup develops personal assistant app


Pressed would help users to create habits and manage their time. Photo via

A startup is developing a mobile app to take the time out of time management.


Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, said last week that it will invest $5,000 in Pressed, an in-development personal assistant application, as its weekly startup selection for an initial round of funding.

The free Pressed app would help users to accomplish and maintain goals, tasks and lifestyle habits.

Combining manual input and an algorithm analyzing a user’s behavioral tendencies, the personal assistant app would create reminders to nudge users toward their goals.

The app would integrate with Google, iCal, Outlook calendar and Siri and notify users of tasks based on time, day, location and frequency.

Target market

Damian Pamer, founder of Pressed, said the time- and habit-management app is directed toward recent college graduates as an initial consumer base.

“Our target market right now is about 22 to 28, iPhone owners," Pamer said. "And the idea for that is typically, people coming out of college are trying to choose their lifestyle, trying to figure out what lifestyle choices they want, what career choices they want. Basically, that is the dawn of being the person you want to be.”

The idea

With experience launching a company in northern California and trying to balance running a company and personal goals, Pamer said he wasn’t as successful as he should have been, which prompted the idea for the Pressed app.

“I had such a hard time juggling both my goals and my to-dos,” Pamer said. “I realized that this happens for a lot of people. The daily grind kind of gets in the way of your bigger goals. A lot of people want to eat healthier, but they just forget about it, or they get motivated at the wrong times, or they don’t get motivated well enough, or they just don’t know what steps to take. I realized that this is a really big problem, and I wanted to help people solve it.”

Next steps

Pamer said Pressed will use the Start Garden funds to help create an improved algorithm, bring the app to a private beta version and reach out to different investors throughout the country.

“I was very excited. We have been in development for a while, and we got really excited, because that $5,000 is really going to put us over the edge,” Pamer said. “Right now, we are working with someone to help get that algorithm developed that analyzes people’s behavior to know when to remind them, and we realized what we had just wasn’t cutting it.”

Currently, several people make up the Pressed team: Kassandra West, in charge of marketing and public relations; Dr. Art Markman, who developed the science behind the user habits and an advisor to Pressed; an iOS developer; and Pamer. West also runs the ambassador program at Pressed, which includes more than 250 people, sharing content and talking to others about the app.

Pressed is required to return to a monthly Start Garden Update Night event after a couple of months to present on its progress to be considered for further funding.

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