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We chat to Belfast based online ticketing and events registration startup Get Invited

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by Startacus Admin

A fresh new startup has emerged on the Belfast startup scene. Get Invited is a next generation online ticketing and event registration service that not only helps event organisers increase ticket sales, but provides insight into their customers and their feedback about their event.Startacus Interviews Get Invited

They’re a team of passionate designers and developers who organise events themselves so they know what matters. They’ve developed a beautifully designed solution with unique features that empower event organisers to make the most of their event. As part of Startup Belfast Month, we spoke with the CEO of Get Invited (and signed up Startacus member!) Kyle Gawley to find out more!

Hi Kyle, how did you come up with the idea for Get Invited?

The project initially began as a Masters project between myself and fellow MFA Multidisciplinary Design student David Turner, along with our lecturer Christopher Murphy in 2012. What quickly became apparent was the vast commercial opportunities available, so myself and David spent 2 years bootstrapping the idea whilst we built out the software. In November 2013 we closed a £175,000 VC seed round through a deal that involved Innovation Ulster Ltd (IUL) – the University of Ulster’s commercialisation vehicle.

In just 6 months we have processed over 10,500 tickets with a sales value of over £80,000. We’ve also started to gain significant traction in both the UK and international markets with major conferences across the UK, Ireland, Europe and Asia.

How do you differentiate from competitors?

With competitors such as Eventbrite, their core focus is on the ticketing. We’ve asked the question of how we can take online ticketing to the next level and provide further value for both the event organiser and their attendees beyond the initial ticket sale. Get Invited enables event organisers to not only sell tickets for their events, but also to monitor the social conversation around their event in real-time. We pull data from multiple social media channels, which is presented to the organiser so they can see what is being said about their event. We’re currently improving this technology will also be able to inform event organisers not only what’s being said, but whether comments are positive or negative – so we can highlight any potential negative issues as they happen, enabling the organiser to respond in a timely manner and improve the overall experience for their attendees.

We’re also developing a new social discovery tool as part of the service that will help make event suggestions for users based on recommendations, behavioural trends, customised preferences and invitations.

Startacus Interviews Get InvitedYou mentioned that you are IUL funded. What support have you received from the University?

We’ve received an enormous amount of support from Innovation Ulster Ltd. The investment from IUL has played a pivotal role in getting the company o? the ground and building a team.

In particular, Tim Brundle, the CEO of IUL has provided on-going mentoring and opened many doors for us, he is always on hand to provide advice and help which has been hugely beneficial for us.

How have you found the Belfast startup community?

Belfast has an incredibly vibrant tech community that is really supportive of startups, everyone just wants to get involved and help out.

There are lots of great events like Refresh, Friday Night Mashup, Feedback Friday and our own Get Together event to name a few. These events enable you to meet with aspiring entrepreneurs as well as more established individuals for advice and inspiration.

Having access to University technology has been great for us in building and improving our services. We are currently working with the University of Ulster to develop our social media sentiment analysis tool that will enable event organisers to gain insight into the sentiment of comments about their event.

Ultimately, the access to technology, vibrant tech community, and a network of incredibly passionate people doing amazing things in the tech space make Belfast a perfect venue to startup for us.

What advice would you give someone wanting to start up here in Belfast?Startacus Interviews Get Invited

The people in the startup community here are incredibly friendly and down to earth so you can establish a network pretty quickly. Go along to as many events as you can and ask people to meet for coffee (or a pint) – everyone is keen to help out with making connections, sharing ideas and offering advice.

Also, speak to the various organisations who are here to support new businesses. The Northern Ireland Science Park and Invest NI have been incredibly helpful in a variety of ways. There is also a lot of financial support available here in addition to the advice and mentoring support.

Cheers for the thoughts Kyle and best of luck with Get Invited!  Why not pay them a little visit or follow them on twitter @getinvitedto to see what all the fuss is about

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Published on: 27th May 2014

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