What is unique about TicketFire compared to similar products like StubHub?
We actually complement StubHub. StubHub is a great platform where individuals can search and purchase hard-to-get tickets. TicketFire is simply a platform that allows people to use and move their tickets digitally, instead of physically (through FedEx, mail, or meeting in person).
What is different about the technology behind TicketFire?
We have a patent pending on our secret sauce, but as far as we know, we’re the only company that has approached this problem in this way. We aren’t trying to take down the ticketing system — we just want to make it better and bring it into digital era.
What advice do you have for startup entrepreneurs who are planning to participate in an incubator or accelerator?
Do your homework, and ensure that they have the network and/or industry experience to help you scale your business. That’s the only reason to participate.
What exactly are you doing with LookHuman and Print Syndicate? How do they all work together?
Print Syndicate is a design, marketing and technology company focused on creating timely, relevant, beautiful printed objects (mostly apparel). We syndicate our designs to e-commerce sites including Skreened.com, Zazzle.com and RedBubble.com, and sell products via our own e-commerce site, LookHuman.com.
Is it difficult to juggle more than one startup at a time? How do you do it?
Of course! It’s super stressful, and a lot of work, so I try to be efficient. I’m fortunate to have great business partners in both my companies who are supportive of all of my work (not just my venture with them), and I have a wonderful fiancÃ©e (soon-to-be-wife) who supports my ambition, and also reminds me to stay balanced. I devote time every morning to pondering and thinking about strategy, I spend at least one day a week without my phone or laptop on, and I have amazing mentors.
Why did you decide to keep your tech companies in the Midwest as opposed to move to Silicon Valley or New York?
Columbus is an amazing city. It’s smart, open and a great place to start a business. Overhead is low here, so I’m able to focus on investing in my companies instead of figuring out how to pay super high rent. I have amazing mentors, who are among the greatest business leaders and philanthropists in our community — and I don’t believe that I would have easy access to that caliber of mentor in Silicon Valley or NYC. We’ve also received great support from the City of Columbus, the State of Ohio, and CCAD.