Q+A with BRAVO Founder, Maria Luna
What was the inspiration for creating BRAVO?
Bravo, “Tip or Pay” provides a unique fintech solution to artists, service industry professionals and micro-merchants who often miss out on tips or payments because most people no longer carry cash, and their fans/customers that otherwise would pay high ATM fees to get cash, or not be able to tip or pay.
Our story began when my co-founder Hector and I had an amazing tour guide on a hiking trip in Utah and we realized we did not have cash for a tip. The nearest ATM was quite far and we felt horrible not being able to tip her. It made us realize that in the age of mobile payments, there was a niche in the market (cash only tips and micro-merchant transactions) where plastic was not being used because all of the solutions in the market required some sort of exchange of personal information or a contraption.
What are your most notable accomplishments, deals or partnerships?
Our journey towards success started when BRAVO won the Wild Card at TechCrunch San Francisco 2015 and was chosen by Macworld as the top of the 20 most fascinating iOS apps from TCDisrupt.
After that, our work was recognized by different platforms and we received multiple awards including AZ Top Tech Executive Award from Phoenix Business Journal. In 2016, Bravo was selected along with 5 other startups from hundreds of applicants to be showcased at the McCombs Business School Entrepreneurship Night at University of Texas Entrepreneurship Night SSW – Startup Showcase. Recently, we had Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock partnership for Proof is in the Pudding Music Competition.
Tell us about your experience with ASU?
Working with ASU and the Venture Devils program has helped us immensely to accelerate our business success with mentorship and ideas born out of brainstorming with our team at the collaborative ASU SkySong spaces. We have been able to test our unique value proposition, continue our validation phase and improve our communication plan. It has also provided us exposure to industry leaders and other entrepreneurs that go through similar experiences and we all benefit from sharing ideas and best practices.
Stay up-to-date with Maria and BRAVO. Better yet, download the App and tip people when you don’t have cash or even when you do.
Read more about the Venture Devils program and how it supports student, faculty and community-led startups.