Donnie A. Dinch ’08

Passion for music inspires technology

donnie-dinchDonnie Dinch is forecast to take the billion-dollar music industry mobile. He’s listed in Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” and as one of the magazine’s “Hottest Startups of 2013.” And who’s to argue with Forbes?
Dinch is the packaging science-graduate-package designer-turned-CEO of WillCall. After graduating in 2008 with a degree in packaging science, Dinch moved to Seattle where it wasn’t long before he and two friends picked up on discussions around plans for developing an app during a startup weekend.
Dinch saw that streaming services were — and still are — altering the face of consumerism in the music business. A larger number of artists are being brought to people’s attention, but they’re playing toward smaller venues at the club level. The mobile app facilitates an environment where people can find out about live performances and can go see more of the music they love, but that they just might not have the right information to find. WillCall’s features include curated events, a “Tip” button that sends tips directly to the artist, in-app merchandise, friend activity feed and custom packages, and Bartab, a means to charge drinks to their WillCall account. With more than $2.1 million in seed funding from billionaire Sean Parker, music mogul Coran Capshaw and Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia, Dinch’s app is currently curating shows in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The goal is to facilitate people seeing a show as often and as easily as going to a coffee shop. Dinch’s passion for music led him to create the business. A resident of San Francisco, he works with the city on a panel series called Nightlife & New Tech. Their mission is to harness the brainpower of those in the city’s tech and music industries to improve the future of nightlife in San Francisco. He also works with a nonprofit dedicated to using the power of technology for civic action.