Press for GroupMe

One day last summer Jared Hecht’s fiancée was complainingthat she had no good way to coordinate her friends in real time at a Red Rocksmusic festival. “I called up my friend Steve and said, how do we make thispossible?” A week later Hecht, who turned 24 today, and cofounder SteveMartocci, 28, had built a prototype of their group texting service, GroupMe,at a 24-hour hackathon.

GroupMe, which also made our 2011 list of New York City startups to watch, launched in October 2010 as a way to easily create an instant SMS style chatroom across all phones- smart and dumb. Last week, the startup darling added push-notifications, photos and location sharing to its popular group-texting app, available on both iPhone and Android.

For all the clever things smartphones can do these days — like stream movies and play 3-D games — the latest mobile craze centers on revamping one of the earliest phone applications, the text message.

Amid throngs of entrepreneurs and digerati set to descend on the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Texas, next week, one start-up hopes to create big buzz with a low-tech texting tool popular with soccer moms.