In 2014, there are a myriad of events happening around us, but we don't always know about them before they happen. Have you ever found out about one of your favorite band's concerts or a forum with a successful CEO the day after? Hypestarter wants to solve this problem.
Hypestarter is a free app that aggregates event details from online event postings ranging from live music, festivals and 5Ks to comedy events, sporting events, art shows, author events and speaker series. Co-founder Ryan Bregier's (left) goal is for it to become the events app of choice in college towns around the nation. His team of a dozen developers and interns are working tirelessly to unveil the finished app in Chapel Hill in September.
So how does it work?
When you download the app, it asks you questions about events you might be interested in. The app learns your preferences when you "hype!" an event, and generates personalized recommendations. Hyping! also creates a real-time hot list of popular events in the area, and lets you see what your friends are attending. That's what makes it different from the nearly 2,000 other events startups I found on AngelList, the company's advisor Laura Zavelson (pictured below) says.
Hypestarter also lists any friends that are attending an event and allows users to check in to the event upon arrival. This is a great feature to ensure you will know someone at an event; however, after using the app, I realized a lot of my friends have not downloaded it. If this picks up speed in the fall, I think this will be a useful tool.
The company is currently in "stealth mode," as Bregier likes to call it. His team is refining the app's design, algorithm and listings in time for the fall push.
Bregier, a UNC graduate who majored in international studies and minored in entrepreneurship, founded Hypestarter with his childhood friend Jason Boone after both agreed there wasn't a solid event aggregation app.
They joined the 1789 Venture Lab and were part of the first Launch Chapel Hill class, where they began working closely with Zavelson.
The MBA@UNC professor is an entrepreneur-in-residence at the incubator. She's helping the two men raise an angel round to fund the venture, and determine a way to monetize the app. Hypestarter previously raised a friends and family seed round, but won't share the amount.
"They (the testers) are pretty crazy about it," Bregier says. "People download it and are almost unanimously excited."
He won't share any specific plans for making money through the site, other than that early venue partners include Top of the Hill and the Carrboro Arts Center and he hopes to eventually integrate ticket purchases through the app.
Zavelson is convinced there are multiple potential revenue streams.
"It's just a matter of validating which ones are going to be the most quickly adopted," she says.
So why would local businesses and event planners want to join Hypestarter? Bregier believes it helps streamline the event process.
Venues spend a lot of time promoting their events through a multitude of media sources, but Hypestarter makes that process easier. Venues can add events to their websites through Hypestarter's interactive calendar. Those events are then delivered to interested users via email and the app. Hypestarter also offers the option to autopost events to social media and send push notifications to users who have hyped! a venue's previous events.
Though the app is based out of the Triangle, users can still check in to events across the nation. He hopes that feature will help the app grow organically.
With a plethora of events happening every day, Hypestarter hopes it can make it easy to know what's happening around you.
"Do you have any idea what you're missing?" Bregier says Hypestarter does.