Emma Peterson, founder, Tikly LLC
Emma Peterson, founder, Tikly LLC
The problem:

Founder Emma Peterson, who has worked with local band The Nadas for more than two years, was tired of seeing consumers have to shell out extra money in add-on fees when they bought tickets to a show in advance. That makes it less likely for people to buy tickets in advance, meaning they are often less likely to show up or promote the event to their friends. Artists don’t have control over the tickets they are selling.

The innovation:

Peterson and business partner Brian Hemesath built a Web service that allows bands and venues to sell tickets to an event through Tikly, which charges customers less in fees than most other ticket companies. Tickets are often $5 to $10 less expensive to order in advance, so the lower fees should help make it more attractive to purchase tickets in advance. Tikly aims to make the transaction experience an easier process for all parties.

How they did it:

What sets Tikly apart from other ticketing agencies?

Beyond the fact that customers are charged a flat 10 percent fee for all purchases, Tikly looks at itself fundamentally differently, said Peterson. Tikly’s end goal is to empower the artists and venues selling the tickets.

“One thing we keep saying (to artists and venues) is ‘they’re your tickets,’” Peterson said. “‘It’s your show.’ We by no means have the attitude that these are ours. We are confident enough that this will be a positive experience and they’ll want to continue working with us.”

The service is aimed primarily at helping actively touring bands that play in small to midsized venues.

Tikly’s concept is based on the belief that other ticket companies do nothing to help the artists and venues they sell tickets for. That’s where Tikly aims to be different.

Beyond the bare bones of selling tickets, the website has added features such as social media sharing and the ability to easily purchase band merchandise.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity to connect a lot of those artists that don’t really have a united ticketing front to be able to manage themselves,” Hemesath said. “I really believe we’re the first ones to really focus on it.”

Peterson launched the company last May, and through February worked with about 20 artists and 25 venues, mainly in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Colorado.

Peterson and Hemesath completed an overhaul of the company’s website at the beginning of February, and have started to expand the service to other interested clients. Since launching the ability for anyone to sign up on their own in mid-February, more than 150 clients have signed up for the service.

Due to early interest in the product, positive feedback and a network of users, Hemesath is confident that Tikly will be able to survive and thrive even if it faces competition from like-minded services. He hopes to see the two-person operation expand its employee base within the next year.

“At the end of the day, the value is being provided from the venues and the artists to the fans, and that’s the relationship,” Hemesath said. “Anything that hurts that relationship, I think, will get shoved out of the way. The technology is going to facilitate all of it.”

What’s your key to being innovative?

"My key to being innovative is constantly staying inspired, involved and recognizing issues that are present in cultures that I am passionate about. For example, Tikly exists because there was a need for the people who I am most passionate about – the artists, the venue owners, the record labels – to better represent themselves in the sphere of ticketing. And there was, at the time, no good solution to that need, in my opinion."– Emma Peterson,  founder, Tikly LLC