Tributes pour in for HQ Trivia co-founder Colin Kroll after apparent overdose

The father of a tech entrepreneur who died aged 34 has said his death is ‘truly a waste’.

Colin Kroll, who founded Vine and HQ Trivia, was found dead in an apparent cocaine and heroin overdose luxury Manhattan apartment on Sunday.

His father, Alan, told the New York Times: ‘He had so much talent and had accomplished so much at such a young age. It truly is a waste.

‘At 34, imagine the things he’d done and the skills he had. It would have been really fun to watch him at 50.’ 

Colin Kroll, CEO and co-founder of HQ Trivia and previously of Vine, was found dead in his New York City apartment of an apparent overdose. He was just 34 years old 

Colin Kroll, CEO and co-founder of HQ Trivia and previously of Vine, was found dead in his New York City apartment of an apparent overdose. He was just 34 years old 

Colin Kroll, CEO and co-founder of HQ Trivia and previously of Vine, was found dead in his New York City apartment of an apparent overdose. He was just 34 years old 

Last night, Scott Rogowsky, the primary host of live game show Trivia HQ, paid tribute to Kroll – with a video message on the app. 

Rogowsky praised Kroll for changing ‘the game twice, first with Vine and then with this very app that you’re hearing and seeing me through right now.’ 

‘HQ Trivia, the game show that you love so much, would not exist without him,’ he added. 

Rogowsky called Kroll a ‘good friend and colleague’ and said he was a person of ‘compassion and generosity’. 

‘His sudden loss leaves all of us here at HQ shocked and deeply saddened,’ the host continued. 

‘Colin was also a loving son and brother and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this time.’ 

‘Out of respect there will be no show tonight, but we will resume our regularly scheduled programming with HQ Trivia tomorrow night.’ 

Rogowsky said the company would donate the night’s $25,000 cash prize to the Humane Society in Colin’s ‘honor and memory’ as he was an animal lover. 

‘We appreciate the message of condolences that we have received from many of you in the HQ community,’ he said. 

‘Together the show will go on and it will do so, forever indebted, to [Kroll].’  

Scott Rogowsky, the primary host of the live game show, paid tribute to Kroll with a video message on the app, which canceled the Sunday night show out of respect 

Scott Rogowsky, the primary host of the live game show, paid tribute to Kroll with a video message on the app, which canceled the Sunday night show out of respect 

Scott Rogowsky, the primary host of the live game show, paid tribute to Kroll with a video message on the app, which canceled the Sunday night show out of respect 

News of Kroll’s death shocked many on Sunday morning after he was found dead in his New York City apartment.  

The New York City Police Department told DailyMail.com they received a call at 12.15am Sunday morning for a welfare check from Kroll’s girlfriend, who said she couldn’t get in touch with him.

When police arrived at his apartment on Spring Street in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, they found Kroll unresponsive in his bedroom.

A source said that drugs believed to be cocaine and heroin were also found in the apartment.   

Kroll was facing an HR complaint by an HQ Trivia employee for his ‘aggressive management style’ at the time of his death. 

The complaint came four years after Kroll was reportedly fired from Twitter due to his management skills and his behavior toward female employees. 

A 2017 Recode article revealed that at least three prominent investors opted out of funding HQ Trivia after learning of Kroll’s behavior at Twitter.  

Many of Kroll’s former colleagues at both Twitter and Vine said he had a reputation for exhibiting ‘creepy’ behavior toward women that made them uncomfortable. 

Five of his former peers said Kroll also had a reputation for showing up late and hungover to work and that this was one of the reasons why he was fired from Twitter after only 18 months at the company. 

His colleagues described him as ‘abrasive and disinterested’, and said he could be ‘verbally abusive.’ 

Jeremy Liew, a board member at Intermedia Labs, the company behind HQ Trivia, then conducted what he called an ‘exhaustive’ investigation.  

Police found Kroll dead in his apartment in Manhattan (pictured) shortly after midnight Sunday morning with drugs believed to be cocaine and heroin nearby

Police found Kroll dead in his apartment in Manhattan (pictured) shortly after midnight Sunday morning with drugs believed to be cocaine and heroin nearby

Police found Kroll dead in his apartment in Manhattan (pictured) shortly after midnight Sunday morning with drugs believed to be cocaine and heroin nearby

HQ and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov (pictured with Kroll) later tweeted his condolences 

HQ and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov (pictured with Kroll) later tweeted his condolences 

HQ and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov (pictured with Kroll) later tweeted his condolences 

 

‘I found a good deal of negative sentiment about Colin and the Vine team and some discomfort with his behavior, but I did not find evidence that warrants his removal from the company,’ Liew said in a statement. 

Kroll later told Axios that the experience was ‘eye-opening’ and a ‘catalyst for professional development and greater awareness in the office’. 

‘I now realize that there are things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. I apologize to those people,’ he added. 

Following his son’s death, Kroll’s father Alan said the Recode article had ‘troubled and hurt’ his son. 

Alan told the New York Times that Kroll had recently stopped drinking and did not have a drug problem that he was aware of, but that he often worked 100 hours a week. 

‘He worked too many hours and too hard,’ Alan said. ‘I think New York City got to him a bit. You need to have great constraint to have a disciplined life there.’ 

‘All of that leads to getting too much drugs or bad drugs and overdosing.’ 

Alan, who was aware that his son used drugs recreationally, said that Kroll recently had talked about moving away from New York. 

‘He had so much talent and had accomplished so much at such a young age. It truly is a waste,’ he added. 

‘At 34, imagine the things he’d done and the skills he had. It would have been really fun to watch him at 50.’   

HQ Trivia host, Sharon Carpenter, took to her social media to express her condolences 

HQ Trivia host, Sharon Carpenter, took to her social media to express her condolences 

HQ Trivia host, Sharon Carpenter, took to her social media to express her condolences 

HQ Trivia's main Twitter account also tweeted condolences to Kroll's family 

HQ Trivia's main Twitter account also tweeted condolences to Kroll's family 

HQ Trivia’s main Twitter account also tweeted condolences to Kroll’s family 

Kroll’s HQ and Vine co-founder Rus Yusupov tweeted his condolences on Sunday. 

‘So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother,’ Yusupov shared. 

Sharon Carpenter, one of the app’s live game show hosts, took to social media to share a snap of the co-founders, herself and Rogowsky posing at the latter’s birthday party.  

‘I posted this photo just a few days ago. Now, with a heavy heart, I’m posting it again. Thank you for your world-changing creations. A brilliant mind gone way too soon,’ she wrote in the caption. 

Rogowsky took to his Twitter after news broke of Kroll’s death, calling him a ‘true visionary’ who ‘changed my life’.  

‘He poured his heart and soul into his work and was incredibly proud of what his team accomplished,’ Rogowsky wrote. 

‘I will forever be grateful for his friendship, his leadership, and his belief in me.’   

Colin (far right) pictured with his family on Christmas Eve of 2015. His father said Kroll had recently quit drinking and talked about moving away from New York 

Colin (far right) pictured with his family on Christmas Eve of 2015. His father said Kroll had recently quit drinking and talked about moving away from New York 

Colin (far right) pictured with his family on Christmas Eve of 2015. His father said Kroll had recently quit drinking and talked about moving away from New York 

HQ Trivia is a live game show app in which users compete for cash prizes if they are able to answer all 12 trivia questions correctly

HQ Trivia is a live game show app in which users compete for cash prizes if they are able to answer all 12 trivia questions correctly

HQ Trivia is a live game show app in which users compete for cash prizes if they are able to answer all 12 trivia questions correctly 

HQ Trivia’s Twitter account also shared: ‘We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it’s with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.’

Kroll was named the CEO of HQ Trivia in 2015. Prior to that he was the co-founder of Vine. When Twitter purchased Vine, they brought Kroll on board.   

HQ Trivia which had been in the top 10 list of downloaded iPhone games in January had slid to between the top 250 and 500 spot. 

HQ Trivia users compete with other players as part of a live game show. Players who are able to answer all 12 trivia questions correctly stand to win prize money.   

Before he co-founded Vine, Kroll was the Chief Technology Officer for Jetsetter.

From 2007 to 2009 he was the engineering manager at Yahoo.   

The Medical Examiner’s office will determine the exact cause of death.  

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