Interview with Shaun Terry, Co-Founder of Active Locations

Shaun Terry is a co-founder of Active Locations, LLC.  Active Locations is the creator of Trist, a mobile software application that automatically recognizes when you are at a venue, and configures itself to provide branded venue related services.  The company is currently looking for beta customers and seed investors. Shaun Terry will be presenting the launch of Active Locations on April 29th at the NY Tech Mixer Meetup’s Demos & Drinks event.


What’s Active Locations all about?

Active Locations was founded on the vision that all venues will be self-describing in the near future. What we mean is that when you walk into a venue — a building, a stadium, a convention center, a mall, campus or concert hall — you will not have to  look up a sign board or ask a concierge for information. Every venue will automatically make available information about itself  to you. This will enable companies to monetize that information by providing useful services on top of that information. Trist is our first application that is built along this vision.


I heard you guys are Android gurus.  What were you doing before starting this?

Both my co-founder and I were among the original members of Sun Microsystems’ Java Design center. After Android platform came out, we knew that there were several applications that we had built during the Java/Web days that we could radically improve with the advent of mobile computing platforms and location services. We were recently placed in the Top 50 for Google’s android programming challenge, and so we decided to put our talents to good use and started to work on Trist.


What keeps you motivated and pushing ahead?

Having left programming for a few years – doing management and sales for Wall St. and Silicon Valley – we realized how much we actually love building software applications. This is in a way, a return to what we love doing, so that helps a lot. We also love it when potential users play with our application and say they love it! We’ve wanted to work together for a long time. So, I suppose what keeps us motivated is doing what we love, with people we like, and knowing that others will find the product useful and cool.


What would you consider to be a successful result for your company?

We started developing the software last summer and we’re now just ready to talk to outside investors. As neither of us had worked at a startup before, we applied to the Columbia/NYU inSITE program, and we were thrilled to be one of five companies that the program has taken on for the year. I bring this up because we define success based on the lifecycle of the business. We have an end-state definition of success for each stage in our development; we define success in simple, measurable steps. Next step would be in getting beta customers before release (and we are in active talks at the moment).


Lastly, of course, what’s your favorite drink?

Since we are doing the demo, we’ll stick to beer. Otherwise, we both enjoy vodka with soda.

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  • amish

    Where can I see the website or app? I don’t see it in the app store on iPhone…

  • anon

    what exactly are are the branded venue related services? is this like foursquare? i’m bullish on location based mobile services as a category, but i’d like to see more on what is unique with these guys

  • albert

    cool, looking forward to the demo