ClubCo is an online E-Ticket provider and supplier with an integrated social platform aimed primarily at the university student market. It allows suppliers to create events and sell online tickets for those events, generated through our website with an iPhone application that acts as a scanner in order to verify the validity of that ticket, whilst simultaneously allowing students to purchase these tickets and interact socially by viewing their university friends activity throughout the site. It is integrated to interact with Facebook and Twitter, the largest current social networks, in order to maximize exposure. Currently ClubCo is the cheapest online E-Ticket generator as we charge the supplier no fee for the service, but a very small fee to each student consumer when they purchase a ticket. ClubCo allows university nightlife suppliers to add legitimacy to their ‘student’ nights whilst also allowing students to evaluate their best option in terms of events by enabling them to view where their friends have purchased tickets and their upcoming interests.
For suppliers, ClubCo is the easiest and cheapest way to provide an online ticketing service whilst simultaneously ensuring they sell to only students, advertise to their specific demographic for free, as well as enhance their captive audience. For students, ClubCo offers the easiest, safest, cheapest and most social way to successfully plan their nightlife and maximize the university experience.
Who is your startup aimed at?
University students and the organisers of events at University.
How does your startup stand out against it’s competitors?
The truth is event organisers don’t really care overly which provider they use, they are looking for something easy, effective and something with a demand. While at University I ran a few events myself and I know first hand the current system is slow, ineffective, costly and not particularly transparent. Each E-ticket provider generally gives the same service, sometimes with a few value added services or products, but the idea of uniting all 145 universities so ClubCo is the go-to for tickets is the vision. We have had a lot of good feedback from our representatives at Universities across the UK and I have messages from them I can send you to illustrate they feel a demand for ClubCo is there. We also solve the issue of student exclusivity, which was a large problem when I was at University. Student nights should be for only students, and the way this was validated was by showing a student ID at the door. This caused long queues as students forgot them, borrowed others or were just locals who had found tickets. With ClubCo we take this away, if you want your event to be student exclusive, you can choose that option when making an event and the customer must validate their student email in order to be able to purchase a ticket (which can be done upon sign up to the site!). The traditional method is flawed and this is a comment that has arisen again and again, it is also a reason for starting the site. Providing we are a recognisable brand, with a good past performance, solid product and good team, there is no real reason as to why it shouldn’t work!
The idea of starting University and everyone knowing where to go is the mission, the amount of hassle students currently have to go through in order to obtain or even find a distributor of tickets for events that aren’t online is genuinely quite staggering.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
In a lecture at University I was told I was ‘lazy and wouldn’t accomplish anything’ I had ‘good’ but ‘unrealistic’ ideas. I wrote down ClubCo on a piece of paper, put it in my pocket and forgot about it.
3 months later a friend borrowed my jeans on a night out, found the paper, asked what it was! I explained, he said he thought it was a great idea, and we just did it! We saw a large gap in the market and took it.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I went to Nottingham University and studied Economics. I hated it from the start and wanted to find a way out. I feel I have always been entrepreneurial but the moment I realised I had to get out of University, I saw the opportunity and took it.
How long has the your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
It has been in the making for two years and we’ve launched this week! Max Mayhew and Aaron Howell run the business but we couldn’t have done it without the help of a Latvian web development company ‘Mosties’.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
It is incredibly difficult for someone to understand your vision. At the end of the day it is your fabrication and it’s in your head so I found it extremely difficult to make what was in my head, physical. But as time went on people started to see what I was seeing and believed in the idea more and more. That was an incredible feeling, as people understand they begin to believe. Obviously investment and developing was a large obstacle but sharing the vision was always a big challenge.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We want to monopolise the University events market. There are 145 Universities within the UK and if we can create a system that unites this community and eliminates the current inefficiency within the market, then my 2014 would be pretty complete!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Mistakes are a necessity. It is a marathon not a sprint and EVERYTHING is an experience, never let that hold you back. Each time someone or something knocks you down, it is only going to make you that much more experienced and that much stronger. So stand tall, you will fail, again and again. And again. So what? Keep going and if you believe, nothing will stop your vision.