App allows custom background music

By Jocelyn Moya / NM News Port /

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A former UNM business student has invented an app that allows consumers to customize the music in their favorite restaurants and retailers.

The app, Kanoodl, allows customers to use their phones to vote on songs playing around them, in an effort to avoid hearing limited playlists that can be impersonal to listeners.

Matthew Ayoub, a 2008 graduate of Cibola High School, said he invented the app about four years ago with a love of local culture in mind. Ayoub, 25, describes himself as an entrepreneur, innovator, and mentor.

In 2011, Ayoub founded Alpha Arietis, a real estate investment company that provides commercial space for small businesses and startups. He also started Media Trove, the platform for Kanoodl.

“I oversee day-to-day operations for each of them,” Ayoub said. “On Kanoodl, I operate interface design and business development and I have an employee that works on the software development side.”

As part of his work, Ayoub is working to spread the word to local businesses about the benefits of streaming customized music that allow customer participation via Kanoodl.

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Customers can begin customizing their experience with a quick scan of a Quick Response code and businesses can choose a monthly or yearly subscription of Kanoodl.

“The idea is to create really great user experiences wherever people go,” Ayoub said. “We wanted to create a unique and personalized experience in the physical world using technology.”

Ayoub said the journey was a difficult one at first, but last year Kanoodl had a breakthrough when it was accepted as one of the first eleven companies into the ABQid Accelerator program, which helps local companies that are just launching.

“It was a good success for Kanoodl,” Ayoub said. “They helped both as mentors and with investment.”

With the success ABQid provided Ayoub, he gives back to the community by attending events like Startup Weekend at Fat Pipe ABQ, an incubator and co-working space.

“I like being involved in the community in that way, and saving other people the hard mistakes I had to make,” Ayoub said.

Albuquerque residents tend to be involved with the tight-knit tech startup community, and form invaluable connections, he said.

Ayoub stresses the importance of keeping startups in-state, and taking advantage of outlets like ABQid and InnovateABQ.

The future plans for Kanoodl are still under wraps, but Ayoub says he plans to stay in New Mexico.

“I think it’s important for us to stay here to grow these initiatives because if businesses move, they take that success and money with them, whereas if they stay here we can reinvest it into the community and it creates a really great innovative ecosystem that builds on itself,” Ayoub said.