Local entrepreneurs hope to kickstart Traycups

Becky Vargo • Feb 16, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Local entrepreneurs Matt Hintz and Ralph Allen are hoping to make a big dent in the entertainment market with their food tray design called Traycups.

Hintz said he received a lot of attention at holiday parties using the invention that helps people keep a free hand instead of juggling plates and glasses. 

The tray cup is a walled plate that slides over a glass, bottle or can. The one-handed design works best with a straw, but the glass can be easily removed to take a drink. 

The Traycup is getting into production mode through a Kickstarter campaign that lasts through late this month. Hintz said Kickstarter is a pre-order and pledge site. It’s a way to raise funds for production and, in turn, filling people’s orders for the product.

The 9-inch tray is recyclable and made at Universal Products in Rockford. The Traycup is currently available only in red, but other colors will be offered down the road, he said.

Hintz said the actual product would be produced this week, with order distribution following the completion of the campaign on Feb. 27.

For more information, and to pledge funds or pre-order, go to: www.kickstarter.com/projects/225773515/traycups?ref=discovery&term=traycups.

Backers can pledge as little as $1 or $5 for no rewards, $10 for one Traycup, $30 for four Traycups, $175 for a 24-cup supply in a retail-display pack, on up to $1,750 or more for the mystery Traycups package.

An online promotional video, designed by Alex Schmidt of Rockford, shows a variety of different uses, including its original design for a Bloody Mary, a wine and cheese tray, or a pop and popcorn tray for the kids playing video games.

Hintz admitted that he and Allen would love to become rich from the product. At the very least, he hopes to recoup the money they’ve spent up-front on design, patents, copyrights, the cost of the molds and shipping boxes, as well as marketing. 

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