Have you ever signed up for a free trial of a subscription box, magazine, streaming video network or other subscription service but forgotten to cancel before the trial ended and your credit card got charged? Chattanooga-based startup Tryall feels your pain and wants to take the stress out of that sign-up process, so you can make informed decisions about the subscriptions you sample.
Backed by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) as part of its fall accelerator program, Tryall is a platform designed by three African-born entrepreneurs that is getting ready to launch its beta test in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tryall will help users find, manage and track free trial subscriptions so users can avoid getting charged fees for products and services they don’t want. Tryall will also provide recommendations tailored to a user’s specific interests, needs, and preferences.
Jason Oteng-Nyame, a Ghana native and an economics graduate from Davidson College in North Carolina, is one of the company’s three founders, who call their company Asili Labs. He told Chattanooga’s Times Free Press that he developed the idea after signing up for a bookkeeping service via subscription that didn’t meet his needs or fit his budget. Gabriel Wamunyu and Anthony Wamunyu Maina, who are from Kenya, are Oteng-Nyame’s partners.
‘Tryall is a web and mobile platform that allows users to test subscription-based products without the typical stress of free trials,’ Oteng-Nyame said in an interview for the paper. ‘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.’
Asili Labs won the grand prize for their Tryall idea at the ‘Will This Float,’ a business pitch competition hosted by CO.LAB in October. The trio won a $1,000 cash prize, an interactive pass to SXSW, 10 hours of legal consultation, 10 hours of accounting consultation, a spot in a CO.LAB program and three months of access to co-working space at Society at Work. The ‘Will This Float?’ competition was started in 2010 to showcase entrepreneurship in southeast Tennessee. Since its launch, the company has featured 67 entrepreneurs who have raised total capital of $42 million.
Since this was a business incubator project, it doesn’t appear that the details have all been fleshed out yet, but the idea has ‘good bones.’ We’ve all been there – signed up for a trial subscription for this service or that, forgetting to cancel before we are locked into a monthly subscription fee or an annual contract. We are curious to hear what business model Asili Labs will use to support Tryall. Will they ask users to pay a fee for their service, or will they seek funding through advertising, sponsorships, venture capital or perhaps support from subscription companies? We’ll follow this as it develops and report back when we learn more. In the meantime, you’ll have to track those trial expiration dates on your own.