BarTab, a new Facebook application that gives users the ability to send real drinks to friends for $1, announced their official and exclusive launch in Arizona. The BarTab service turns Facebook virtual drink icons into real drinks, redeemable by cell phone (electronic coupon) at participating bars in Arizona. To date, more than 100 bars have agreed to participate in the program with many more lined up statewide. BarTab will host a kick-off party this Thursday at 8:00 pm at Scottsdaleâ€™s Salty Senorita, where guests will be able to demo the new application live.
Developed by Nick Stewart and Matt Smith at the University of Arizonaâ€™s McGuire Entrepreneurship program, the application provides obvious user benefits through the experience and enjoyment associated with the social interaction of giving and receiving drinks. In addition, BarTab acts as a customizable marketing service for participating bars and restaurants.
The launch of the new application follows a recent endorsement from Facebook where BarTab was selected from 600 competing companies to receive a $25,000 grant.
This is how it works:
The service allows users to turn a digital drink icon into a real drink redeemable by cell phone. Upon visiting the designated establishment, the BarTab user simply presents a text message-based mobile drink coupon (received upon purchase/gift) in exchange for a drink.
For the partnered bar, BarTabâ€™s pay per customer model is a unique component of the service, and provides a means of risk-free advertising. Partnering bars only incur costs when customers are successfully attracted to the bar. Participating bars and restaurants give away a drink to attract a customer. The bars have control over the number of drinks they give away, the type of drinks given away and even the time periods in which the drinks can be redeemed.
The Arizona-launch represents the first step in the launch process prior to taking the application nationally and internationally. BarTab is currently in its second round of funding. Beginning today, Facebook users will have the ability to login and vote for their favorite application out of 25 apps finalists in the fbFund Round 2. Depending upon the number of votes received, the company may be eligible for further Facebook awards of up to $225,000 that will allow the company to begin migration from a product serving the local community to a broader national and eventually international network.
Originally posted on November 10, 2008 @ 11:47 am