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Elliott Perry

Elliott Perry

BA (Hons) Business Computing 2012

Elliott Perry is a software entrepreneur and co-founder of three digital ventures: EventSneaker, Beatmatch and Extravaganza.

Elliott, from Washington, is current CEO of Extravaganza, an online marketplace for the live entertainment industry and is also participating in Echo Ventures, a new business accelerator.

Following graduation, the 25-year-old landed a post with Sage (UK) Limited as a software developer but soon decided he wanted to go it alone as a freelance iOS engineer.

“The placement at Sage was undoubtedly the kick-start to my career. My time at Sunderland gave me a foundation of knowledge, particularly in computer programming,” he said. “So I had the skills to teach myself the ropes, and I managed to land a couple of contracts.”

Elliott’s skills caught the eye of entrepreneur Mark Stephenson, came up with the idea for EventSneaker, an online tool for professional events managers which tracks content through to sales, measures the efficiency of different markets, and ensures that events budget-spend lead directly to sales.

EventSneaker, which was founded in 2013 and was based in Middlesbrough, quickly gained a portfolio of clients including Exposure Events and Sunderland Live and they were awarded partner status by online ticketing giant Eventbrite after just three months.

One year later, after a chance meeting at an event industry conference, EventSneaker was acquired by international event publishing firm evvnt.

Elliott Perry

After 15 months working for evvnt as a Technologist at its London headquarters, the Sunderland graduate was ready for a new challenge and founded Beatmatch.

He said: “I founded Beatmatch back in June and decided to pivot to what is now Extravaganza and sold Beatmatch in the process. Things seem to move quicker than anywhere else in the tech world!

“Beatmatch investigated the viability of disrupting the electronic live music industry with a services marketplace platform that would allow promoters to book DJs directly, replacing traditional agencies. After four months the platform was acquired by Rondo Global Ltd as a kick-start to their technology strategy.”

Now with his sights firmly set on his third venture, Elliott hopes this will be ‘the big one.’

He explained: “Extravaganza is an online marketplace for the live entertainment industry. Entertainers sign up and create a profile showcasing their services. Together they communicate, sign contracts and transact all within the marketplace ecosystem.

“A retrospective rating system offers quality control and this, coupled with professional-grade features, incentivises both buyers and suppliers not to circumvent the marketplace (to avoid associated costs).

“Extravaganza has grown to 1,000+ sellers in 10 weeks and aims to revolutionise the way live entertainment is hired.”

Asked about his future plans for this venture, Elliott commented: “I recently on-boarded a co-founder and together we're aiming to accelerate the growth of the business through Seedcamp.

“Seedcamp is one of the most prestigious tech startup accelerator programs in the world behind Y-Combinator (although they have a different approach) - certainly top in Europe.

“They give you £55k pre-seed investment for seven per cent of your company and we're applying to join the Spring program with Extravaganza. The idea would be to leverage the programs network and utilise the capital to scale Extravaganza very very quickly.”

The young entrepreneur finds the inspiration for his ventures in his own passions.

He said: “Health and fitness and live entertainment were the two ball pits I thought I could play in, and initial experiments proved the live entertainment space was crying out for what I believe I was offering.”

 “With the explosion of innovative new technologies, almost every industry could feature breakthrough ventures, but I look at what I’m passionate about. However, when times are tough, cash is tight and redundancies have to be made, it’s also about having the grit and determination to not only pursue, but enjoy the journey too.”

He added: “My recommendation to become an entrepreneur is to learn hard and fast. Read a lot of books. The first step is to train your mind because you are capable of these things. If someone else has done it, why can't you?

“My second piece of advice is to grab a co-founder/co-founders. Sharing the experience with someone that cares about it as much as you, will be like having superpowers compared to going it alone.”

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