With a lot of faith in their ability to transform and lead the event planning industry, 22-year-old Avante Prince and Eli Taylor-Lemire quit New York University (NYU) to make their dream a reality.
Avante discovered his talent as a DJ at age 5 and has been spinning records for more than 15 years. On the other hand, Eli runs a freelance photo-video agency that produces content for big fashion magazines as well as Sony and Roc Nation artists, Afrotech reports.
Today, the duo runs POSH, an agency that gives the world tools to create amazing experiences. It is a ticketing platform that is quickly on its way to match up with similar platforms like Eventbrite and Ticketmaster.
They founded the company from their personal experiences as part-time workers in NYC nightclubs in 2019. They hosted small events for college students and young professionals at the inception of their startup and later realized they could grow their idea.
“We initially built POSH as an in-house tool that solved our primary needs for white-labeled event pages and gave more insight into our customer data,” Eli explained. He shared that when they used their own in-house tool for two events, they scaled from 200 attendees to 500 attendees per event, which was right before the pandemic.
This new vision stirred up their decision to drop out of college to bring a difference in the event planning space. In an interview with Afrotech, the co-founders explained that their platform is like “Shopify for events.”
“The existing events industry is extremely monopolistic,” Avante pointed out, and further explained that already existing brands use a form of a pay-to-play model to keep corporate event organizers exclusive to their products. He also added that “They put their brand before their organizers,” and make it extremely difficult to manage and scale the communities that event organizers work so hard to build.”
With POSH, users get to customize their own ‘marketplace’ to suit their brand through white-labeled event pages. POSH also features ticketing and RSVP tools, marketing tools (email, SMS, affiliate), instant payouts, dispute resolution, community management, and kickback offers for attendees to become paid affiliates. From these, the platform makes money for every ticket that is sold.
Avante and Eli recently acquired $5 million in a seed round co-led by Companyon Ventures and EPIC Ventures, with participation from Cameron Dallas, Day One Ventures, Pareto Holdings, and Joshua Browder (Founder of DoNotPay) among others, Black Business News reported.
According to Statista, the global event industry could grow to more than two trillion U.S. dollars.
The business partners are certainly on to something; since they began, the platform has steadily developed with a user base of over half a million and has sold tickets that total about $30 million.
In just the first quarter of 2023, POSH built up its number of live events by 50% and has been used across six continents, pointing to its future potential to go worldwide.