Denver Broncos kicker Connor Barth, a Wrightsville Beach resident, wants to boot a new company through the goal posts and rack up an entrepreneurial win in the social media space. Barth and Ryan Watts launched the Toast Together app in Wilmington and will be test marketing it in other NC cities, including in the Triangle.

Barth told local Wilmington station WWAY that among other things, he wants to further his career after football because after an Achilles injury, “You kind of got to plan for the future.”

In an email to WRAL TechWire he wrote:

“I’m very excited to be apart of “Toast Together” and to be working with Ryan. Not just because I am a co-founder, but because there is a definite need out there for people to be more social. I feel that Toast has an idea for an unmet need, and a formula for success. I’ve found that the more you are out and about with friends, old and new, the happier and healthier your lifestyle is. I believe that there’s one thing that you can never put a price tag on and that is making memories. I can’t for this to takeoff in North Carolina and beyond so that we can all raise a glass and toast!”

His partner, Ryan Watts, started his first successful online venture in 2009 while still in college at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. After chatting with friends about the fact that none of them knew where the local bar specials were – a topic of prime interest to many college students – they created Chapel Hill Bar Specials and racked up thousands of followers in a month tweeting bar specials. “It became very popular,” said Watts.

On his father’s advice he expanded the service to other college towns and charged bars a “relatively small amount of money,” to post ads. “We did fairly well, but I wanted to learn how a bigger business operates, so I was a management consultant with IBM for three years.”

No one did it right

Watts tells WRAL TechWire he met Barth on a plane when he was on a business trip to Tampa, Florida. “We started talking about football and other things and he started talking about life after football,” Watts says. “He mentioned mobile apps and I said, ‘Hey, that’s my sweet spot. Social, mobile.’ They stayed in touch and eventually Watts pitched an idea to Barth and his financial advisor.

His first idea didn’t fly, but in November 2014, he had another. He had been thinking there was this huge gap in the market for something aimed at people looking for drink specials. “No one did it right,” Watts says.

In addition to providing information about drink specials, brunch specials, live bands, happy hours, the app also connects users socially and lets them chat with each other to plan outings.

Coming to an NC city near you

Barth liked that idea and became Toast Together’s angel investor. The fledgling company is based in Cary and already has a seven person team. Although the firm’s Series A investment of under a million got it started, Watts says it wants to scale to a national level, so a Series B round isn’t too far in the future.

Right now they’re posting specials in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach with Raleigh up next on the agenda, probably by August 1. After that, they’ll move on to other NC cities such as Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte. They want to acquire users and customers to help land a larger round. “We’ll follow where the user base takes us in terms of demand,” says Watts.

How are they making money? “We’re not selling ads,” Watts says. “We’ll sell information. Every bar now posts specials for free. Down the line, we’ll charge them for access to our user base. But we’re not doing banners or pop up ads like so many apps do.”

Oddly enough, the app already has users from 20 states and three countries. It’s currently available for iPhones with Android version coming.