March 22, 2016
You know the world is becoming more innovative as a whole when long-time food and beverage companies start hosting their own startup pitch competitions. That's exactly what Anheuser-Busch InBev did this year at SXSW along with ZX Ventures, the incubator and venture capital team that it backs.
This year, beverage subscription cocktails app HOOCH beat out seven other startups to win the competition. The eight selected startups pitched to ABInBev and ZX Ventures leaders at SXSW on Monday, March 14th. They were competing to win seed funding or a chance for a pilot partnership with ABIInBev, one of the largest beer brands in the world.
HOOCH have is a very unique concept. It is a members only cocktail app that buys its members a drink a day at partnering bars and restaurants. They launched in NYC in November 2015 and recently launched in LA and Austin during SXSW.
“We are very excited to bring the HOOCH App and experience to Austin during SXSW,” said HOOCH CEO Lin Dai in a statement. “The festival is the nexus of digital innovation and what’s next in music and film, which makes it the ideal time to bring HOOCH to Texas. We look forward to buying everyone a round of drinks on us.”
Memberships are only $9.99/month or $99/year. Assuming I did the math right (which is questionable), with the yearly membership that comes down to $.27 per cocktail. The founders are nightlife veteran Aleksey Kernes (Hotel Chantelle), tech industry expert Lin Dai (Keek, Emmis NY and Alloy Media + Marketing), and digital marketing entrepreneur Jared Christopherson (Yellow Hammer Ad Agency)
The concept benefits everyone involved. The members get to try out new cocktails and some of the hottest spots in town, for free (if you don't include the base membership), restaurants get more customers in the door who will most likely stick around and buy a second drink or some food, and HOOCH gets to rake in the profits from making consumers and restaurant owners happy.
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