Business Heroes - Technovator: Seatwave (highly commended)

Runner-up in the Technovator category is Seatwave, which is using technology to take the grubbiness out of touting.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

No more hanging around on street corners trying to secure a ticket to see your favourite band - now you can do it all from the comfort of your own home, or even on your phone - Seatwave has become the acceptable face of ticket touting. It helps that the process of buying a ticket is super-streamlined - something founder Joe Cohen attributes to constantly putting himself in the customer's shoes - or 'eating your own dog food', as he puts it. It's resilient too - when tickets went on sale for Take That last October, Seatwave was the only site not to crash. He also has an eye on the future and is beta testing an iPhone app that looks at the music on people's phones, and recommends gigs on that night.

And Cohen's focus on getting the technology right seems to be paying off. Seatwave has more than 1.5 million unique visitors a month, although Cohen is cagey on actual ticket sales. He's certainly in a tough space, facing fierce competition from market-leading Ticketmaster - the company where he cut his teeth. But he says he's going for a different slice of the pie - the reseller market. 'We want to be the second name that people say - rather than going to eBay or Gumtree, or a tout on the street.' Sounds much more palatable - not to mention warmer - to us.

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