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welcome to jonesboro- there's an app for that
Story by Audrey Hanes; photography by Amy Long

As the city of Jonesboro continues to develop into one of the foremost economic hubs in the region, it has quickly become a popular mecca teaming with businesses, restaurants, retailers and more. Now, thanks to Ace One Technologies CEO and IT specialist Manu Nair, there’s an app for keeping up
with the latest and greatest in Jonesboro; introducing Hub360°.

Nair has always been interested in technology. After earning his bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering at Madurai Kamaraj University in India, he went on to get his master’s degree in computer science from Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in the IT industry in many capacities for the last 14 years, particularly in the area of software development.

It was in Cleveland, Ohio, that Nair found his entrepreneurial calling. In 2009, he started a software technology business called Ace One Technologies that offered software consulting from web design, mobile app development and enterprise software development.

Nair and his wife, Dr. Devi Nair, moved to Jonesboro two and a half years ago with their two sons, 7-year-old Ganesh and 3-year-old Vignesh, when she joined St. Bernards Medical Center as a cardiac electrophysiologist. Nair also relocated his full-service technology business to the city, where the company offers a local option for website design, mobile app development, custom
software development and web hosting.

“When we moved here to Jonesboro, we had a hard time finding local event information or getting more information on what was going on in town on a given weekend,” said Nair. “We were constantly Googling information. …. I thought how cool it would be if we had an app that (was) dedicated to Jonesboro and the neighboring area that provided this information.”

Once the IT specialist realized his new hometown was lacking an app with the local information he was looking for, it wasn’t long until he decided to make one himself. Nair is no stranger to app development; he began building apps about five years ago. He started with some hobby apps, then clients started hiring him and his Ace One Technologies team to build commercial apps. To-date, Nair has created more than 120 apps for various clients such as Cleveland Clinic, the Knot, Promedica, St. Bernards, FlowerShop Network and many others.

“We developed the Hub360 app by adding other useful information that a typical user in J-Town would be looking for,” said Nair. “We tossed around several design ideas and finally arrived on an intuitive, simple, flat design that displayed six main areas: Near By You, Dining, Shopping, Services, Events and Gallery.”

Nair says the process of taking the initial conceptual design and making it into an app that was offered in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play took about two months.

“Before the launch of Hub360, there was no single source in Jonesboro … that listed local event information, information on local restaurants, local shopping hot spots,” said Nair. “Hub360 is an attempt to bridge that gap. It provides local event information, truly local dining hot spots, promotes local shopping spots, local event galleries and more from the palm of your hand. (It’s) always accessible from your smart phone.”

Ace Once Technologies has partnered with Occasions Publishing Group to launch the app.

“Our niche has always been hyperlocal – our products feature the best of what the city offers. We don’t attempt to be regional,” said Audrey Lott Poff, president of Occasions Publishing Group.

“Jonesboro Occasions has served as the city/social magazine for more than 10 years, and Jonesboro.com serves as the best online resource for those who visit or reside in Jonesboro. We are excited to partner with Ace One Technologies in creating a mobile app that likewise focuses solely on Jonesboro. We believe Hub360 is a great addition to our current offerings in print and digital media.”

For Nair, the partnership between Ace One Technologies and Occasions Publishing Group is a perfect match, as well.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Occasions,” he said. “We are feeding the event galleries (local photos featured on Hub360) from the Jonesboro.com database and we will feature the annual Occasions’ Readers’ Choice Award winners and online voting in the next releases of the app.

“Hub360 is all about local. It is about local events and dining and shopping hotspots in and around Jonesboro. What better way for us to build that information than relying on the city’s premier magazine that has been doing this work successfully for the last 10 years?”

For more information, visit aceonetechnologies.com.