Last year, Event Tech Lab, Visit and Poken by GES, and UBM announced a collaboration to assist new event technology companies called The Start Up Clinic. Fledgling companies were invited to apply for one-on-one mentoring in core competencies covering four operational areas: Product development, strategic management, finance, and marketing and promotion.
The program will support the new companies with expert advice from six mentors with diverse backgrounds in the meeting and events industry. The mentors are: James Morgan, PhD, CSEP, senior lecturer at Westminster University, London, and the founder of Event Tech Lab; Stephan Forseilles, chief technology officer of Easyfairs; Alison Church, marketing director, U.K. and global for Easyfairs; Damien Lane, co-founder of investment firm Episode 1; Matt Coyne, technology engagement architect at GES EMEA; and Govind Sharma, director of technology at UBM.
The original intention for The Start Up Clinic was to mentor three companies but because of the high quality of the final 14 applicants, four firms were invited to join the program. All the firms offer products and services for meeting planners, from exhibition advertising and influencer marketing, to an Eventbrite plugin and a website for conference and event staffing needs. The first crop of companies participating in the program is truly international, coming from Europe, Canada, and the U.S. West Coast.
Here is a sneak peek at the first crop of companies (to be announced on Thursday) that will join the eight-month accelerator program.
Nvytes is a Southern California-based direct marketing tool that lets your exhibitors and speakers share branded invites over 10 different social media and digital platforms while tracking each invite and providing you with outreach analytics. John Tisdale, founder and president, says, “As a startup, we prioritize our customers first and foremost—what we call working “in” our business. We tend to neglect working “on” our business—planning for growth, investing in development, and identifying threats and opportunities. [We applied for this program because] having a team of outside experts, who provide input and guidance, would be invaluable to a company in our position.”
U.K.-based EventProFinder is a staffing application to help qualified freelancers from tour managers to festival electricians connect with event staffing managers. Once they have connected, the site hosts project information and updates.
Canada-based snöball is a marketing platform that helps event planners increase registration and participation by simplifying the process of making influencers in your sphere into our brand ambassadors. Founder Rachel Stephan says, "It is essential for any product in the development stage to be in constant contact with its end-user to validate and fine-tune its offerings. Having the mentorship of The Start Up Clinic is key in assisting in the validation of snöball’s offerings to the event industry."
Radario, based in Russia, is a plugin that integrates directly with a ticketing platform and turns event data into ticket sales with the use of event analytics, a CRM system, and an automated email marketing editor. Daniil Shcherbakov, business development director, says, "Before the creation of The Startup Clinic, there were no startup accelerators focused on the event industry. Once we found out that The Startup Clinic had opened its doors, we knew we had to apply. For us, it is a great opportunity to work closely with other bright-minded entrepreneurs who are disrupting the event industry with their products, to establish new industry connections and partnership in the events industry, and to be able to get advice about our product, strategy, and vision from event industry professionals."