Jordan Axani posted a note on Reddit six months ago, looking for someone who had the same name as his ex-girlfriend to take her ticket and go on a trip with him. The story went viral, and the experiences of the trip helped him come up with the idea for Triplust
, a mobile platform that asks locals for travel insight.
“Whenever Elizabeth and I checked our phones, we had hundreds of messages from locals who were giving us travel tips and ideas and inviting us out to dinner,” he says. “It was very cool to have this experience of seeing and doing things that not a lot of people get the chance to.”
Unique, off-the-beaten-path places aren’t usually on Yelp and Trip Advisor. Those are the things the locals know about and want to help others find.
Axani and his business partners, Sebastien Filion and Andrew Vine, started their business mentoring class at The Brandery
on June 16. Axani says they applied to a number of business accelerators but The Brandery really understood the opportunity of a product like Triplust.
“We’ve all been very fortunate to live all over the world, but we’re having an incredible time here,” Axani says. “There’s this amazing sense of hometown pride here, and we’ve been discovering so many things because we’re hanging with locals every day.”
Triplust launched last week as CincyLocals
, a simplified version of the app designed specifically for the All Star Game.
“There’s so much more going on this week outside of the All Star events downtown,” Axani says. “The city wants to throw an amazing experience, and we want people to have that experience.”
Twenty locals are volunteering their time to give visitors free travel information. The volunteers specialize in food and beverage as well as baseball trivia and history.
“We hope that CincyLocals is as much a local thing as it is for visitors,” Axani says. “We want people to feel like they have a trusted friend with them everywhere they go.”
It’s a free app, but people are generous and willing to pay for insider travel information. For that, there’s a tipping functionality built in and users are given $10 of free tip money.
The app will be live through Wednesday, July 15, and then will be taken down to assess its success. It will be relaunched as Triplust in August, when it will go live in a number of domestic and international cities. At relaunch, the app will be available in the iTunes store and on the web, and it will have a personality matching algorithm that pairs users with a local with the same interests.