The app presents between six and ten questions each quarter, says co-founder Andrew Vassallo. Players can decide how many points they'd like to wager on each one. "Five hundred points may unlock free nachos, or 1500 may unlock a private party," says Vassallo. (He's on the right in the photo, with co-founder David Shack.) Spogo also enables its users to chat — or talk trash, more likely — as they wait for the next question to pop up.
Vassallo says that the company has signed up more than 50 eateries in Boston and New York to provide rewards to Spogo players, with the expectation that a free order of potato skins may also induce a new customer to purchase a pitcher of beer to go with it. Eventually, if Spogo can prove that it is bringing new customers in the door, the startup may charge bars to advertise through the app, and provide analytics about each campaign's effectiveness.
Co-founders Vassallo and Shack met as roommates at the University of Richmond. Prior to starting the company in May, Shack worked at the Boston ad agency Arnold Worldwide; Vassallo worked for the investment bank Cowen & Company in New York. The company raised a small seed round earlier this year of about $50,000 to support development of the app, but Vassallo says they hope to raise more in the coming months. The app was built by NYC-based Inertia Lab.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.