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When Darren started his business, there weren’t the same resources for non-technical founders trying to do technical things. After getting involved with some local organizations to help with the technical side, it became clear that revenue alone wouldn’t be enough to support the app to what they wanted it to be. That realization is what led them to try to raise capital. Darren has now been raising money on and off for several years, and he shares the challenges he faced, the tips and tricks he used along the way, and his advice for anyone looking to raise money for their business. 


Darren Smith


Traipse PBC, Founder/CEO


Darren is the founder of Traipse Inc. and is responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic planning. He holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. He has more than 15 years of experience in urban planning and economic development, including policy work, advocacy and technical assistance for a nonprofit, and grant-writing, making him familiar with the world of local economic development and tourism.

Darren has also designed individually or led design teams in developing interactive games and activities for training programs and public workshops, which provides expertise in how to shape the experience of Traipse app users and give them both educational and entertainment payoffs. Through past computer programming and application development endeavors in previous professional roles, he is familiar with relevant technologies and programs to guide the implementation of the Traipse vision.

Darren lives with his wife Caroline and son William in Washington, D.C. He enjoys playing board games and participating in group activities such as scavenger hunts. He also enjoys traveling and exploring new places with friends and family.

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Episode Credit:

Intro and outro are voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at


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