Planning an event can be stressful. Whether it be dealing with promotion strategies, cancellations, or taking the hit on the transaction fee, lots of potentially great events go under. Picatic, a new recruit to the Vancouver startup community, is changing the online event ticketing landscape by helping you better plan and manage your events. Their main unique approach is a pay-what-you-want model which gives you the power to control the fee you pay for them hosting your event.
1. Who are you? Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
James Sapara, CTO at Picatic. We are an online event management company that started about two years ago. Our CEO, Jayesh Parmar, got the idea while in SF on a CTA program.
2. What’s your main differentiator to ticketing companies like Eventbrite and why do you believe your model best suits consumers?
Unlike our competitors, we do not charge service fees upfront. Instead we build a relationship and trust that they will pay us what our service is worth. Promoters and customers have long been discontent with service fees in the industry, this was our opportunity to disrupt a long standing issue.
3. How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of Picatic?
Coming into Launch Academy gave us the soft landing we needed when we moved our company from Saskatoon to Vancouver. It was the stepping stone to all the networking and opportunities the community had to offer.
4. What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
We are trying to solve fees in the event industry. To that end, we are the only company that lets the promoters choose the cost of using our service.
5. How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
I saw a lot of entrepreneurship in my family growing up. When I started my first business, it failed in three months. I learned you need to put your ego aside and ask for help from people who have done it before you. My next business flourished and opened a lot of great opportunities for me.
6. What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
I have been following Elon Musk for more than a decade now. His passion for knowledge and sheer will to succeed should be inspiration for every entrepreneur.
7. What Vancouver celebrity/influencer would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
Boris Mann, first time I met him he gave me a beer and blew my mind. Has an amazing ability to pull back to see the bigger picture and provide insights.
8. If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?
No regrets, all the mistakes I made have built who I am today. So, when to buy and sell Google stocks?
9. What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
I used to follow news.ycombinator.com for retros on failures, but lately those have been more mainstream. I think the biggest winning habit for me has been to find some time to not think about work everyday. Tuning it out and doing something else you enjoy. It helps me bring my best to the table the next day.
10. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Seek out advice from who ever is willing to offer it, but remember you know your business and customers better than anyone else. Startup is just a fancy word for business. Learn to run a business and you will find some measure of success.
*End of interview*
Picatic has a great team that likes to give back to the startup community through events and mentorship. A huge part of any startup is its team and it has to jive with the brand – they do this very well. They have made some waves in North America and now begin their expansion into the UK and European markets. Those markets know a thing or two about events and partying so it’ll be exciting to see how they adopt Picatic’s way of doing things. They are another example of how Vancouver’s growing tech scene is attracting great startups over the big east coast cities.