For the second year in a row, the mini weekend accelerator of Austrian origin Startup Live is visiting Sofia. Twelve teams participated in the 48 hours program and received mentoring and training to bring their ventures a step forward.
The big winner, which is going straight to the Viennese Pioneers’20 next year, is StageLock. The young company is aiming to take care of the hurdles that bands and venues have when looking for organizing a gig (slang for live musical performance).
Marketplace for gigs
StageLock was started in 2018 when Hristo Krustev joined an already existing team of four music enthusiasts, who were by that time working on another idea. Ever since Krustev joined they’ve been developing a virtual gig management platform.
In its first version, StageLock will start with a single player mode. This means that the artist can create profiles with their biography, photos and to add external links to music streaming platforms like Spotify and live performance videos from YouTube, so that the venue can easily choose the potential performer. A similar type of profiles can be done by the venues, where musicians can share their opinion and useful information about the locations, like available gear, which according to the Stagelock’s team is usually a problem.
“Our unique selling point is reviews from the venues about the artist or band that already performed, where owners of the clubs share info about the overall delivery and the satisfaction of the crowd. This way the artist can later use that reference to land a new gig,” explains Hristo Krustev, who is currently serving as CFO of StageLock.
The next step for the young company is to launch a marketplace. Through a calendar, the venue management should be able to choose a date for which a musician is needed, type of music, how long the set list should be and should it contain covers or original songs.
Once booked, the company charges the venue seven days in advance of the performance date. The musicians should receive the payments three days after a successfully completed gig. This way the company is solving the hurdle of many musicians – not getting their money even though their performance was satisfying.
The company is targeting the London market and has already spoken to one local pub and ten bands. In July, the team is planning to launch an MVP. So far they have been bootstrapping and not looking for investment until their product is validated from the market.
One more winner
“There was progress in the maturity of the startups that participated this year compared to the previous edition. A lot of great ideas, from different topics, so it was really cool for us and I think for the mentors as well,” comments Georg Kuttner, the managing partner at Startup Live.
Therefore, the organizers decided to award one more startup. The winner of the best pitch was a company called S.W.A.T., which stands for Smart Water Automation Technology. The team has developed a system for monitoring the quality of tap water. Through IoT, the service is providing graphic visualizations of real-time data. After an easy DIY installation, the users get high accuracy information about the quality of the drinking water.