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Our Vision

Connect people with community in a fun, interactive, and educational way while bolstering local economies by promoting locally owned business along with historic and cultural assets.

Our Mission

Provide a platform for this connection that gives agency and organizational clients, nationally and globally, the opportunity to co-create curated, thematic, gamified experiences for visitors and guests.

Meet the Team

Darren Smith
Founder, President and 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.

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Austin Auclair

Director of Creative Content

Austin Auclair has 17+ years of marketing and communications experience, recently coming from the nonprofit world where he served as marketing director for a major performing arts institution. Austin is also an avid consumer of geolocation games, interactive immersive experiences, puzzles, and overall has far too many hobbies.

Dan Wright
Chief Technology Officer

Dan is a developer, sys-admin, and researcher. He has expertise in high-performance computing, database systems, app development in many languages, and scientific research. Dan holds a PhD in Library and Information science, focusing on data-mining and use of statistical techniques to find patterns in genomic data. He lives in Staunton, VA, and spends most of his time that's not in front of a computer riding or working on bikes.

Michael G. Jacobides

Vice President - Strategy

Michael holds the Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the London Business School, where he is Associate Professor of Strategy. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard Business School, NYU- Stern, has visited Bocconi, U. of Paris and Singapore Management University, and teaches in Columbia for the LBS/Columbia EMBA-Global. He has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on the Financial System and the Future of Investments, and is a Visiting Scholar with the New York Fed, focusing on changing business models in Financial Services. He studied in Athens, Cambridge, Stanford and Wharton, where he obtained his PhD. Michael’s focus is change, design and strategy: he studies industry evolution, value migration, new business models, and structural change in firms and sectors.

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