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Plowz smartphone app gets a summertime makeover

A Syracuse start-up is building on the success of a smartphone app that helped people get someone to plow their driveway. Now the PLOWZ app is being joined by MOWZ.

Wills Mahoney admits it was a good winter to start a snow plow app. More than 40,000 people downloaded the PLOWZ app, and thousands used it to call a plow, not only in central New York, but into the Midwest.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
MOWZ provides users with a real-time price quote based on their lawn.

"We had quite a predicament because we were in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Chicago, the whole Ohio area and Syracuse, and there’d be storms in all those areas at the same time," Mahoney said. "It was pretty hectic, but we found that in other cities besides Syracuse, there was a big market for it."

So what does this company started by Syracuse University grads Mahoney and Andrew Englander do for an encore? Use the same idea when it comes to the next big home maintenance job; mowing a lawn.

"In early January we began developing the MOWZ side of the app," Mahoney said. "It’s available for both the iPhone and the Android device. We’re in those 15 markets and we’re also expanding to North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and a few other states that we’re focused on. We plan on being in every major city in the next few months across America.”

Mahoney says MOWZ works just like their previous app, too.

“The customer enters some information and we compute a price in real time so they know exactly how much they are going to to pay," Mahoney said. "We’re offering a kind of red carpet service, because the guys aren’t just mowing; they’re blowing, edging and mowing."

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
Users describe their lawns to pinpoint what services are needed.

The MOWZ app is already part of the PLOWZ app. Mahoney says they are the only ones in the country offering the service, and the goal is to grab even more markets for mowing than they did for plowing.

“Just like any start up, there’s bound to be someone in their basement, or another company that’s working to beat us," Mahoney said."We see this as a highly successful product. We’ve worked out the kinks and we want to expand as quickly as possible.”

He says the app, which debuted in central New York last November, should be available across the country by the end of the year.

“What we’d like to have eventually, is that you look back at PLOWZ and MOWZ a year from now, and you’re looking at a multi-million dollar company with a full workforce, and maybe another app on the horizon.”

MOWZ and PLOWZ are available on both Apple's iTunes App Store or for Android devices on Google Play.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.