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Trigger Devils Looks to Score
Published Wednesday, December 21, 2016

T Antonio has dreamed of being an entrepreneur for years, and like many aspiring entrepreneurs, he suffered his share of false starts, including a social media company. It wasn’t until a friend pointed out his business was literally in his own hands that Antonio found a successful venture—Trigger Devils—in the basement of his Rochester home.

An avid gamer, he is especially fond of Call of Duty, a popular first-person shooter game. For years, gamers have been augmenting their controllers with trigger stops by placing a screw at the trigger that would stop the trigger from being depressed halfway—the point at which the trigger registers in the game to shoot—allowing the player to shoot faster.

Antonio didn’t want to do that, so he made his own. Meanwhile he held a software position at Newmarket International in Portsmouth, now Amadeus. Then while having dinner with a friend in fall 2014 and expressing his frustrations over his startup he mentioned in passing his trigger stops. “Literally, my friend smacked me and told me to patent it and start a business immediately,” Antonio recalls.

Within two months of that dinner Antonio started his new company and filed for a patent, which he now holds. The company has amassed about 3,000 customers and generated about $50,000 in sales through its website. Trigger Devils retail for $16.99 to $19.99.

His original trigger stops were “peel-and-stick” products, which could be applied to a controller made for Play Station 4, a popular system for Call of Duty players. To allow gamers to more easily take off and put back on the trigger stops, he then developed a model that clipped onto controllers.

He says it’s taken about 50 iterations of the trigger stops to get them to this point, which now includes a peel-and-stick version for Xbox One.

Social media has helped him spread his message. His YouTube channel, where he not only promotes the product but posts a vlog about his adventures with his startup, recently broke 1,000 subscribers and receives about 10,000 views a month. On Twitter, Trigger Devils has approached 7,000 followers.

Arcade expos and trade shows have also driven sales, as potential buyers are able to demo them in person before buying, he says. Of the thousands of units sold, only 10 have been returned, Antonio says. He adds many customers post their first score playing with Trigger Devils on social media to show off their feats.

Antonio is now focused on getting Trigger Devils into stores, such as Best Buy and Game Stop. He has developed packaging and display materials and is testing them in two stores in the Seacoast. “This holiday season we’ll do a huge online push for stocking stuffers,” he says. “Things are great.” For more information, visit triggerdevil.com.

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