Digital event marketing duo returns to Gainesville
The saying goes "birds of a feather flock together" and one Gainesville start up is making a business out of that concept.
This Gainesville tech company got their start in the swamp...
Aidan Augustin says "Aleks and I were both students at the University of Florida, Feathr actually began in 2012 as a digital business card app so we would help people tap two phones together and you could connect, you could send contact info, connect on LinkedIn and Facebook, kind of streamline the follow up process."
That idea was revised to something a bigger and after winning a prestigious award for best new company in 2014, Feathr then moved to Texas.
"Phase 2 of Feathr was working directly with conferences and events to help their attendees get all the information and the full experience. That worked better. We had a real business we had some customers, this has all been in Gainesville so far we are working out of the Florida Innovation Hub but then in 2014 we had the opportunity to go to a startup accelerator program and receive an investment in Austin, Texas," says Augustin.
So they briefly moved out of Gainesville, and the company began to think outside of their mobile app, focusing on the needs of their clients.
"We could do a little bit better by kind of working on the websites and registration process of events than necessarily going through a mobile app that happens at the event, so phase three of Feathr that really kind of started in Austin was how do we help an event and deal with 362 days around the event, and how do I kind of help connect those people, how do I do a little bit of marketing a little bit of advertising so on Facebook it will pop up and say 'hey you were interested in this music festival, don't forget early bird tickets expire in a week, you should come back and register,'" explains Levanthal.
Their software works by gathering data about who might be interested in a client's event and suggesting the appropriate digital advertising strategy for that user.
"After putting some code there all these charts will start filling in. Oh you had 10,392 people look at this one this day and 11,000 people open this," says Levanthal.
Finally, the company found its way back home to the swamp with a new pitch and a new office.
But why move back to Gainesville?
"Gator Football,” says Augustin. “Aidan and I are both obsessive UF football fans and being that far away from the team was really hard for a year," says Levanthal.
At least that was part of the decision--the founders say Gainesville just had more to offer than bigger cities like New York or San Francisco.
Along with the abundance of other local start ups, mentors, and low costs, the downtown area offers an affordable custom office space to the company.
"It's very start up-y… open… everyone’s at the same desk everyone can hear everything but all the offices all these kind of rooms with doors that you can close, the phone booths, the conference rooms, there are areas to kind of go hide and get peace quiet and some privacy,” says Levanthal.
And the key to an efficient workplace is to add a little fun—even if you lose.
Next up for Feathr -- focus on the current software and continue growing.
To learn more about Feathr, click here.
To learn more about GAIN, click here.
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