TechFaster: TechFaster.com. Today we’re joined by John Haugen, the co-founder of SeatSync. Hey John, tell us a little bit about what SeatSync does?
John Haugen: SeatSync is a mobile ticket application on Android and iOS. We connect sports and music fans with each other through a mobile location-based marketplace specifically devoted to tickets. We facilitate in-person transactions in the days and hours leading up to every event.
TechFaster: Neat. Could you talk to us a little bit about the security safeguards that are in place for SeatSync?
John Haugen: I think one of the main things is that we’re following a collaborative consumption model just like eBay, Airbnb. People generally need to be trustworthy and I think for the most part people are. So we’re going to have a rating system. So after every transaction you’ll be reviewing the person that you transacted with and over time we’re going to build a community of really dedicated ticket buyers and sellers.
TechFaster: Cool. You touched on a little bit in the intro, but how would you – what makes you guys different from other secondary ticket markets? How are you guys unique?
John Haugen: Well, let me tell the story of how we came up with SeatSync because I think this illustrates it. We were looking for tickets to a Notre Dame home football game, a really popular ticket, a lot of secondary ticket market action and we looked on StubHub and the fees were extremely high and that’s not something that you’re willing to pay. 10% on a $200 ticket is a lot of money per ticket. So you go to Craigslist and we saw a lot of unresponsive users. There’s a lot of hassle, emailing back and forth. It’s a lot of work and effort to put into a Craigslist transaction and a lot of cases you’re just dealing with the ticket broker who’s jacked up the price quite a bit.
So essentially we ended up finding some tickets online and paid a lot for them. So we ended up getting to the game and during the tailgating basically we saw this live marketplace with fans like selling their extra tickets to other fans and it was pretty much close to face value and people walking around and holding up a cardboard sign, two fingers in the air, yelling at each other. It’s a fairly inefficient way to do business. So the first takeaway we had from that is we really overpaid for the tickets that we bought online. The second one is that during, especially like right before a game starts, holding up a cardboard box or holding up your hands in the air yelling, it’s not an efficient way to do things. So this is a situation that’s not limited to Notre Dame. This plays out like everywhere.
So basically we realized this is a huge inefficiency. I think a lot of people have like had this idea to be honest. We’ve talked to several people that have said I really was looking to try and do this type of business. But basically nobody really has succeeded in providing an alternative between Craigslist and big things like StubHub. So at the end of the day there’s a lot of market demand for this and I think what makes us different is that we’re going to be building the go-to platform for people who don’t want to deal with either one or the other.
TechFaster: I just want to get your thoughts on the development process. I have found that developing for Android can be a bit of a nightmare and I just wanted to know if you had similar experience. If you could provide some insights on that, on developing for the two platforms.
John Haugen: Yeah, it’s true. That’s something that a lot of people run into problems with. We found one developer who is like an iOS expert. So he’s essentially our iOS guru. He developed the entire application in concert with the backend development that we have been doing. But with regard to Android, we have another co-founder, Mike. He’s just a superstar. He’s developed on a lot of different platforms and this is his first large foray into Android.
But he’s basically learned as he’s gone along with this, applying principles from a lot of the other languages he’s worked with and I think that there are definite, like little things like simply testing out an app is so much easier to do on Android than it is on iOS, getting that actually on your phone when it’s not in the actual Play Store or the Apple App Store. That’s much easier on Android. There are certain things, like little nuances that are easier. But I think for us the key was having an expert on each platform and being able to trust that they knew exactly how to achieve the end result.
TechFaster: Good. That’s neat. Could you talk to us, you’re live from New York; could you talk to us a little bit about the startup scene in New York?
John Haugen: The startup scene in New York is extremely active. I think that we’re focused more on the startup scene in Chicago based on that’s where our headquarters is and that’s where a lot of our activities happening on the app for starters. So maybe I’ll deflect and talk about the scene in Chicago even though Manhattan is right behind me here. In Chicago, basically there are a couple of really great startup communities, Built in Chicago for one and Technori is right there. So basically there is a lot of activity, a lot of startups. Of course you’ve got big companies like Groupon and big VC firms like [White Bank] there. So there’s a lot to do with networking and I think that the people that we’ve met have been really helpful and we’re actually presenting at Built in Chicago next Tuesday. So that’s pretty exciting for us.
TechFaster: That’s awesome. That about wraps up the hangout. Is there any new announcement for SeatSync?
John Haugen: Well, we’re very excited. On Monday basically we’re going to be putting in concert data and data for the upcoming NHL season which starts on Friday. So we’re very excited about that. We’re excited about hack getting back. I think that’s been a big miss in Chicago for a while. So Hack is going to be great and concert data. There’s a lot of people that don’t even like sports apparently. So we’re happy to cater to them and put the concert data in there.
I’d like to just encourage anyone watching to download our app. It’s SeatSync and please let us know what you think. We love feedback. We love talking to users and engaging and any investors out there, we’re looking to partner, help grow this business and get it out there. So investors please also if you’re interested in partnering with us, we’d love to talk and we look forward to building SeatSync into the premier mobile marketplace.
TechFaster: If someone wants to contact you, what would be a good email address?
John Haugen: Contact@seatsync.com will get to all of us and we’ll triage from there.
TechFaster: Awesome. That’s great. Well, thanks John for joining us and we hope everyone vote for SeatSync right here on TechFaster.com.