Towny: a new business model for a mobile economy

Tyler Self (Department of Entrepreneurship, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA)

Publication date: 6 August 2020


Research methodology

This case was developed from interviews the author held with Nathan Baumeister, the protagonist in the case and Towny CEO; Hannah Franzen, a Towny marketing employee discussed in the case; and Mallory Franzen, Hannah’s sister-in-law and the company representative for Boomn, the digital marketing agency discussed in the case. In addition, secondary research on the USA retail industry was performed by the author. The case was class-tested four times by the author, with Hannah Franzen and Mallory Franzen initially visiting as case protagonists. This resulted in the case of refinements based on student discussion.

Case overview/synopsis

Towny: A new business model for a mobile economy shares the context and issues surrounding CEO Nathan Baumeister in the spring of 2018 at Towny, a unique business helping local businesses connect with their consumers over mobile devices. The company began going to market based on the vision of its owner and Nathan’s boss, Don Shafer. It had quickly approached local business clients and consumers in five key markets. The purpose of the case is to allow students the opportunity to discuss key new venture creation concepts and scenarios such as customer value proposition, competitive advantage and digital marketing.

Complexity academic level

This case was developed to be used in an undergraduate course in entrepreneurship. The particular course, new venture finance: the entrepreneur’s perspective, teaches the general subject of entrepreneurial finance through financial models such as free cash flow and valuation, case discussions with entrepreneurs visiting as facilitators and protagonists and business concept planning and forecasting. This case helps train students on how to incorporate online marketing costs into their business concept plans. Relevant courses and topics also include small business management and entrepreneurial financial management.



Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


Self, T. (2020), "Towny: a new business model for a mobile economy", The CASE Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 375-391.

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