Wisconsin Startup: Trinker Lets You Party Around The World INTERVIEW

If you’re stuck at home and can’t go out with your buddies who may have just hopped a plane to Atlantic City or Las Vegas, never fear Trinkerapp is here. Trinker is a multi faceted social app that lets you join in the social drinking fun whether you’re down the street or miles and miles away.

According to the startups founder Brad Orego, you can keep up with all your friends and even frenemies no matter where their at and socialize with them via mobile app. You can even make challenges with them centered around social (responsible) drinking. Orego gets into more about how the app works and starting up in Madison Wisconsin in our interview below the break.

Trinker is a free app that makes going out, or missing out, more fun!

What is Trinkerapp?

Trinker is an app that helps you party with your buddies anywhere in the world – whether they’re across the street or across the globe.

Trinker provides a live feed of social on-goings so you know if you’re rocking out or missing out.  By keeping track of everyone—where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with—you can compete against them, and create and share experiences centered on social drinking.  And if someone’s getting out of hand or you just don’t want to deal with them, you can challenge them to a quest or throw some smack-talk their way.

With a fun and simplistic UI, Trinker enhances the social interactions you’re already having by giving you information about where your buddies are and where the party’s bumpin’.

Stop running around and sending endless text messages to track people down – start Trinking.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Brad Orego is the founder and lead-developer of Trinker.  Brad graduated from the University of Rochester with a dual-degree in Computer Science and Psychology with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction.

The Trinker team also includes three pronominal startup players.  Asher Perzigian, Brad’s fellow Rochester alum functions as the business guy and hustler.  Asher graduated with dual-majors in Socioeconomic Anthropology and Poli Sci, with a minor in Creative Writing.  Suzi Warden, studying Business management at Edgewood College, serves as the business gal and social media guru.       Anthony Pellittieri, a Tufts University graduate with a dual-major in Computer Science and Brain & Cognitive Sciences, helps hack and code in the development end of Trinker.

Where are you based?

Trinker is based in the gorgeous and receptive Madison, WI.  They team frequently makes the joke that Madison (or Wisconsin-at-large) is the perfect place for Trinker’s beginnings, as it has both a favorable startup atmosphere and a great social drinking culture.  Madison also happens to be consistently ranked as a top five city for young people.  Plus, Madison is the home of the cheese curd.  Look it up!


What is the problem that Trinkerapp helps people solve?

Basically, Trinker is a way to keep track of your drinking buddies. When you’re trying to figure out what’s going on in a given night, what do you do? You probably mass-text a handful of your drinking buddies to see what they’re all up to and then struggle to keep track of everyone as they move about.  Let’s face it, plans change and people migrate. Trinker solves these problems by being the one place you go to update your status, log drinks and activity, challenge friends, and ultimately share all of your experience as it pertains to social drinking and partying.

The power of Trinker is not only in its ability to be the go-to point for party planning but also to keep you connected with your Trinking buddies multiple geographic locations.  While I can’t drink with my buddies in Buffalo, NY, with Trinker, you’re always connected to the people I care about.  And yeah, I can even buy those friends in Buffalo a round!


What is your secret sauce, compared to other casual drinking apps?

To me, “casual and social drinking app” is a really interesting term. Trinker was born out of frustration with current drink tracking apps: they’re all really painful to use, completely self-motivated, and isolated. If I want to do something to keep track of my drinks, the onus is solely on me to make the effort and keep up with it, and even if I’m successful in doing so nobody knows what I’m doing.

Trinker’s special sauce is the realization that drinking is a social behavior, and it behooves us to build a tool that leverages that social aspect in ways that other apps do not. Really, our primary competition isn’t even drinking or tracking apps, it’s rather other forms of social media. We win that battle though by being highly focused and emphasizing the privacy of what users post on Trinker – we aren’t Facebook.”


What’s the Madison startup culture like?


Ever since having an idea for a startup, I’ve learned so much about what being an entrepreneur really means, and what it takes to get an idea off the ground and in front of people. We wouldn’t be where we are without the amazingly supportive and diverse startup culture here in Madison. I think there’s something uniquely Midwestern about the environment here, even as it pertains to startups. There’s no cutthroat, zero-sum, big buyout atmosphere around here – everyone wants to help everyone else succeed. I went from a complete nobody to having personal relationships with several successful startup CEOs in the region in a matter of weeks just by inserting myself into the startup scene and making the right moves. It’s very easy to break into if you’re smart, motivated, have a good idea, and are open to change.

What’s one challenge you faced in the startup process

For me, personally, just knowing what to do next is always an adventure. We spent 4 months on the ideation phase, trying to flesh out all of the details and seeing exactly where we could go with this before we started building/publicizing anything. The first wake-up call came when I emailed the co-founders of Fitocracy, who told me to build the product first, then start talking, revising, and iterating. The second big wake-up call came when we decided to participate in Startup Weekend. That’s definitely been the most valuable experience thus far, and I’ve had a pretty good idea of what we’re working on and where we’re going next since then. Trial by fire, baby!

What’s next for Trinker App

Trinker’s aiming to launch an open beta on June 28th of this year, and roll out continuous updates thereafter.  The team is planning to spend a lot of time doing hands-on publicity as well as some business development deals both locally and nationally.

Keep an eye out for some big moves coming from Trinker this summer! We don’t want to give away too much, but Trinker’s MVP is only the beginning – we have so much value-add stored in ideas right now!


Find out more about Trinker here are Trinkerapp.com

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