Start-Up Story: Get Invited

Get Invited is the next generation of online ticketing and event registration software, enabling event organisers to: send digital tickets, delivered directly to their customers' smartphone; easily manage attendees with smartphone ticket scanning; view social conversations, photos and videos from their events in real-time; and perform detailed event performance analysis.

How much does it cost? We charge a very small commission on each ticket sale of just 2% + 50p. We’ve priced our service aggressively to compete with the dominant forces in the market such as Eventbrite and Ticketmaster.

How did you get it off the ground? The project initially began as a Masters project between myself, fellow student David Turner and our lecturer Christopher Murphy. We bootstrapped for two years while we built the software platform until last November when we closed an initial venture capital seed round, which has been instrumental in helping us grow the team and bring the product to market.

In just five months we’ve started to gain significant traction in both the UK and international market with several major conferences here and as far as Italy. We recently secured a £1m ticketing deal with the ‘Web Is’ conference in Cardiff, which is a celebration of 25 years of the world wide web and features some well established speakers such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and social- media expert Gary Vaynerchuk.

Who are your customers? The events market is incredibly broad and segmented, so we’re carving out a niche for ourselves in the tech conference sector. We’ve strategically chosen this sector as the customers are generally early adopters who aren’t afraid to try out new technology – which is a necessity in a startup where things can, and often do go wrong. These customers also have a huge social media influence, so we’ve been leveraging this to help promote Get Invited to a wider audience.

Biggest challenge to Date? Both David and myself recently graduated from the University of Ulster’s MFA Multidisciplinary Design course. Although the course is business-focused, running a company has been a huge learning curve, but we’ve learnt a great deal in a short period of time, and received a tremendous amount of support along the way from: The University of Ulster – who invested in Get Invited; E- Synergy; The Northern Ireland Science Park and the Springboard Programme; Invest NI and Propel. Northern Ireland really is a fantastic place to build a new startup – everyone just wants to get involved and help out.

What’s next? Our next challenge is scaling the company into the global market – we’re in a position now were we have a validated commercial product with on-going user traction, but we need to make a significant marketing effort to create global awareness. This is always a difficult challenge for a startup as it costs a tremendous amount of money but we’ve just recruited a marketing manager to help drive our strategy forward and we’re moving towards a second funding round this year.

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