We all love a happy ending, but in this case it’s a happy next phase – which is even better. After months of applications, days of interviews, and hours of knuckle cracking and nail biting Eventstagram, the live Instagram display for events, became one of the 17 start up companies to be selected to receive funding and be part of the Wayra academy.

Wayra, owned by Telefonica – the telecoms giant, invests in up to 20 UK start up companies each year. The Wayra programme offers €40,000 of seed capital, 9 months of office space in their Capper Street office block and a broad mentoring and network of support.

Dan Strang and Ollie Harridge
Here at eventjuice, we’re so excited for the guys at Eventstagram. A couple of months ago, Dan shared lessons learned launching a startup in the event industry with eventjuice readers: http://eventjuice.co.uk/how-we-launched-our-event-startup-eventstagr-am/

3,444 companies applied for this prestigious accolade and the application process to get down to the final 17 that were eventually selected was stringent.

Firstly companies had to process online applications; describing their business and acceleration plans to make sure they were a fit with the Wayra criteria. This was followed by an interview to assess their personality and finally an appearance at Wayra Week. Here the final 30 teams were put through workshops, talks and a gruelling 15 minute pitch to 7 ‘Dragons’ at O2’s head office in Slough.

Wayra were specifically looking for technology companies that boasted a huge opportunity, in a market with low competition. They wanted something that showed lots of innovation, built by a fantastic team, that had a strategic fit with Telefonica and finally that demonstrated some magic.

Easy, hey?

Eventstagram is a live feed of Instagram photos taken by a crowd at an event. Customers include weddings, brands, exhibitions, bars, nightclubs, festivals and many more.

As guests take Instagram images the photos are instantly shown on a live display, that can be customised to match any events requirements. The feeds provide engaging user generated content for live events, as well as increasing the social media impact of the event outside of the venue.

Since Eventstagrams launch in September 2012 their growth has been phenomenal. There have now been over 2,000 events created on their site. They have created feeds for global brands such as Elle, Air New Zealand, Ecco and Moleskine. Sports events such as PGA golf tours and Rugby Stadiums. Exhibitions such as The Gadget Show and The National Wedding Show and Festivals such as Clockenflap and Picnic in the Park.

Although getting to this stage is a huge achievement co-founders Dan Strang and Ollie Harridge feel the product is only at it’s early stage of growth. ‘We want to be the leading live display tool for the events industry. The Wayra funding is going to allow us to grow at a much quicker rate. We have plans to include user submitted video, social reporting dashboards for events, embeddable widgets and even direct photobook printing for our wedding and party customers’ says Dan Strang, CEO.

Recommendations for startups/event companies looking for funding…

Dan Strang: Funding isn’t actually all about the money. When we began the process of getting funding we looked at finding an accelerator that was the most suited to our business. Wayra was right for Eventstagram because O2 has some big links to the Events Industry (O2 Arena, O2 Academy, Arsenal, England Rugby etc) and it provided the most additional support and mentoring. We would really recommend taking the time and effort to seek a program that is the right fit for your start up. That way you are most likely to find a synergy with the investor, and be successful in the application – Good luck!

So, congratulations to our friends at Eventstagram, we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next.

michael

Michael Chidzey is the chief juicer of eventjuice and heads up marketing at Chillisauce, an event company based in London, UK. He also blogs on several websites and is a visiting lecturer in events management at London Metropolitan University.Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelchidzey

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