- Founders: Björn Masuhr
- Founded in: 2020
- Employees: 3
- Money raised: 7 to 8 million Swedish Krona (about 700 to 800 thousand euros)
- Ultimate goal: -
Every year in the Netherlands, the Chamber of Commerce registers around nine thousand new entrepreneurs who are over the age of sixty. Innovation Origins spoke to a number of these grey innovative starters and asked them about their motives. This week, we portray them in a special senior edition of the Start-up of the Day series. Today, 60-year old Björn Masuhr from Sweden talks about the reason behind starting a new company at his age. Read the previous instalments via this link.
“My heart belongs to the live cultural sector. Before founding this start-up, I worked as an organizer in the meeting industry. A lot of event venues, I have noticed over the years, have trouble attracting cultural events. On the flip side, it’s tricky for artists to find a venue and arrange a show. How can event venues benefit from the cultural sector and vice versa? Back in 2014, I started developing my idea. I began talking to people in the cultural world, potential customers and users. Before the start-up was founded in 2020, I had been busy with it for about six years.”
What does EasyArr do?
“In a nutshell, EasyArr is the cultural equivalent of AirB&B. We make it easy for artists, venue managers and organizers to find each other on our platform and to set up a cultural event. This usually involves a lot of hassles, lots of rules, tax payments, safety regulations, contract agreements with the various parties, marketing and ticket sales. It is such a complicated and time-consuming process that few private individuals are willing to undertake it. So now EasyArr takes on all those steps. Instead of 100 hours, it might take an hour and a half to organize a music or theater night. It is only when there is a profit that we ask for a share of the proceeds.”
“I have frequently sat around the table with prospective clients, with universities, community colleges, community centers, players in the cultural sector, with young artists who do not know how to set themselves up within the cultural circuit. What do they need? How can we design EasyArr in such a way that they actually want to use the service?”
How far along are you in the process? Is the platform already being used?
“We have had three rounds of funding so far, each time with a concrete end goal in sight. We have just reached our funding goal and were able to hire an employee. There are three of us now. Soon, two to three more people wil be joining us. We also work on a part-time basis with lawyers and developers, among others. At the moment, we are in the pilot phase. Over the coming months we will be testing the first package deals in the system. The beta version will then follow, and the commercial version will be launched later in 2022.”
What are the advantages of starting a business later in life?
“That I am a bit older and have been around in this sector for many years. I know what it’s like to be an organizer or a venue owner. Moreover, I know what it takes not to fail. All the mistakes that I’ve made in this area in my life I can now use to my advantage. I can guide young people in the right direction. Another consequence of being a senior is that I am frugal. We use old computers and don’t need much money to get where we want to be.”
How long do you want to keep doing this? Wouldn’t you like to retire in a few years?
“The question is more about how long the company wants to keep me, ha ha! Many people set up a start-up with the idea of selling it after a few years. I want to continue with this as long as I have a vision and as long as I am enjoying it. We might want to internationalize as a company in time. That, as a Swedish band, you can also organize a gig in the Netherlands or northern Italy. Having an international career should become easier then. That is definitely our ambition, to launch the culture platform all over Europe in a few years.”
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