A trio of African-born entrepreneurs came to Chattanooga last summer to develop their online business plan with the help of Co.Lab and will soon begin testing their venture in their new transplanted home.
The new business, known as Tryall, will allow small businesses and individuals to test out subscription-based products and services at no initial cost to help guide consumers into making the best choice for their own needs before making a costly purchase or long-term commitment. The Tryall business idea is being tried out first in Chattanooga, where those who have signed up with the startup business should soon get an email alerting them of the free trial opportunities they may want to use.
"Tryall is a web and mobile platform that allows users to test subscription-based products without the typical stresses of free trials," said Jason Oteng-Nyame, an economics graduate from Davidson College in North Carolina from Ghana. "The platform helps users find and easily manage free trial subscriptions, receive personalized recommendations for other free trials, and track expiration dates to avoid incurring charges for products and services the user does not want to purchase."
Oteng-Nyame said his own early experience in starting a business and looking for an online bookkeeping company for help led him to pick the wrong vendor and sign up for a subscription "that was not what we needed or used and certainly not what we budgeted for."
He is far from alone. Surveys have found that more than 52 percent of buyers feel like it takes too much time and effort to select the products and services they purchase and 40 percent say they regret their purchases.
The new business venture, developed by Asili Labs, will address such concerns by offering a platform to help users find and easily manage free trial subscriptions and receive personalized recommendations about the best product or service for the end user based upon new rating and assessment software for each person. The entrepreneurs are developing software to help target recommendations based upon individual needs and preferences and overall ratings of what is being offered.
Chattanoogans who have signed up for a Tryall test should get an email in the next week telling them about the new service, Oteng-Nyame said.
"We are still trying to perfect our platform and we're eager to do this beta test in Chattanooga to help us make sure we are truly providing the right value before we start charging anyone," Oteng-Nyame said.
Oteng-Nyame is working with Kenya natives Anthony Wamunyu Maina and Gabriel Wamunyu in the new business, which they refined earlier this year while working on "Will This Float?" and for the past three months as one of a half dozen participants in CoLab's fall accelerator program.
"Co.Lab has been a tremendous help to get us going," he said.
The idea of Tryall won both the People's Choice balloting and the judges' pick for a $1,000 prize at the Will This Float? presentation in October.
The friends share an apartment in the Fleetwood Building on East 11th Street near Co.Lab and will continue to work with Co.Lab to roll out their business in coming months.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 423-757-6340.