We’re tempted to begin with a geeky hello world statement, but let’s stick to a simple hello from Nikesh and Arvind. We are co-founders of EventsHigh and today it will be 4 months since we embarked upon our startup journey. The last 4 months have been very event-ful (yes, event-related puns run quite high in our office, request you to please bear with it!). We wanted to take a look back and share our journey so far..
Why EventsHigh? What is it?
Our mission at EventsHigh is to share the joy of attending great events. Both of us are active event goers and every week, we would end up checking at least 10 emails, from Atta Galatta’s newsletter to BookMyShow’s weekly mailer. But the curiosity to see what else is happening still made us go to all these individual portals and blogs. To add on, for event such as tech hackathons it was either serendipitous discovery or hope that one of our colleagues heard about it (and remembered to tell us!). We quickly realized that (1) There are great events happening in Bangalore every week that we are missing out on and (2) The information is somewhere on the web but is scattered and puts the onus on users to sift through it. Overall, it’s just very inefficient to know what’s going on and event discovery is a big problem.
With information scattered everywhere on the web, event discovery is a challenge. There is no push based service which can notify you events for your interests. Most of the portals out there are focussing on ticketing but from a user’s standpoint we realized that personalization and finding a community (like-minded people) were key pain points. On interviewing friends (and strangers who are now friends!), we understood key parameters that people used to go about finding and deciding which events, namely –
- Availability – I am free on coming Saturday evening after 5 pm. What can I attend?
- Interests – Tell me events for my favorite band, artist or interest such as classical music.
- Location – What’s happening near me?
- Social – Tell me events recommended by my friends.
And of-course, there are interactions across the above parameters. Example – Let me know whenever Carnatic music events are happening in Indiranagar during a weekend.
The journey begins
On June 3, 2014 one room in Arvind’s apartment was converted into a makeshift office and we were on. Our initial time was spent between meeting people and writing code. Overall, we have been thrilled to be a part of an awesome startup ecosystem in India. People have been very forthcoming in sharing their experience and advising us on how we should go about our venture. On day one, we knew that Indian market would be our first focus with options to expand later. Here are some of the highlights of our journey –
- Startup Dash: http://startupdash.in Startup Dash is a unique event which matches startups at prototype stage with industry experts and investors to quickly get their feedback. It was a perfect event for us given the stage we were at. We came to know about this event through our own platform, talk about eating your own dogfood! At the end there was a pitch competition and we were part of the winning teams. More details can be read here – http://inc42.com/buzz/winners-startupdash-bangalore/ and watch Arvind giving demo of the first version of the website at the event here.
- Tie Pitchfest San Francisco: Nikesh got invited to present EventsHigh at a TiE startup pitch competition in San Francisco and it was great to get feedback at an early stage from eminent people in the valley. We ended up bagging the second prize! https://sv.tie.org/event/tie-startup-pitchfest-san-francisco-0
- Product/Tech: We witnessed early signs of traction when we came up as part of the top results for several queries on Google such as comedy shows, hackathons, cycling, fashion, marathons and even people names like Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah, and so on. Early user feedback helped us prioritize availability and location dimension over others. Search relevance, performance improvements, categorization, entity extraction and other tech problems kept us awake at nights but it was fun. From marketing to mobile development to legal (incorporation), it was simply great to challenge ourselves into these unknown territories.
- Startup Launchpad: Weekend Ventures organizes a startup launchpad event which is a great platform for early stage companies to get feedback and traction. We wanted to use this event as a platform to quickly prototype our new Android app. We hacked away the whole night and had a working prototype (albeit with occasional crashes) ready in 48 hrs. The judges liked our approach and we ended up winning first prize at the competition. Thanks to our Android Guru Vipul for recording the presentation, you can watch it here.
Traction. Feedback. Iterate. We are currently experimenting with several approaches for traction and doubling down on the ones where we see high potential. A bell rings in our office after every 100th user visits us! (and the goal is reach a state where neighbors cannot bear it anymore and move to a sound-proof office.)
A very cool mobile app is also on the way, here is a sneak peek 🙂
How can you help?
We are looking for a strong marketing/sales person and a rock star UI/UX developer. Our office perks include great coffee (Philz!), design your own desk, play loud music and customized home cooked food. If you know anybody, do send him/her our way.
Lastly, do checkout our small effort so far at http://eventshigh.com/, please share our vision and let’s bring amazing events to people together!