Micah Peterson last Tuesday asked potential investors for $500,500 in funding for his customer support software company Twofowzand – $500,000 to help roll out the product, and $500 to take his wife on a trip to Halifax.

The Petersons’ third child had arrived about two weeks earlier, and Micah assured the audience at the Launch36 Demo Day that his wife’s vacation would be for the good of the company. There’s no word yet on whether he’s drawn any funding, but he sure drew a few laughs.

The crowd also chuckled warmly when he shared his impression of existing knowledge-based software used by customer support teams.

“Knowledge-bases suck,” he said. “I felt like a little piece of me died every time I had to use them."

In the customer relations world, a knowledge-base is supposed to contain answers that a customer support rep can give users when they call in with a problem. Usually, the knowledge-base is built up by other reps inputting the information. But even if the reps do have time to create the articles (likely not), the search results are not ranked in a meaningful way so it's difficult to find answers. This means that companies pay $75,000 to $500,000 for a knowledge-base solution that simply does not work. This fact is confirmed by the latest Technical Services Industry Association survey, which states that knowledge-base tools have the lowest-rated member satisfaction of any category surveyed.

That’s why Peterson developed Goto Gorilla, a knowledge-base software designed to help solve these problems.

Costing just a fraction as much as some competitors, Goto Gorilla uses digital highlighting to help the rep extract the symptoms, important details and the resolution, and this creates what Peterson calls “scalable high-touch support.”

What that means is that reps have answers for customers on the first call, no matter how large the organization gets. Goto Gorilla solves the biggest knowledge-base problem -- getting knowledge out of the support reps’ heads and into the knowledge-base where everyone can find it.

Peterson is now gamifying the software so the customer support reps are incentivized to help build up the knowledge- base – something that is lacking in existing knowledge-base systems. He also has plans to add two new ranking algorithms that will dramatically improve search.

Peterson is looking for half a million dollars to help Saint John-based Twofowzand finish the development of Goto Gorilla, which he plans to launch by the end of November. The company has identified a universe of about 1,000 large software and hardware companies who could be potential customers, and plans to court 150 companies early 2013.

With a bit of luck, he’ll even get the extra $500 for that trip to Halifax.