Venue Cricket is an online database that matches users to the unique venues to best suit their event planning needs, including spaces like art galleries, churches and lofts.
We are an early stage venture that is entirely bootstrapped. As a two-way marketplace, we are working hard to build out both sides of our client base. Right now we are also very focused on expanding the site’s features and improving user experience.
TINC: Give us your Elevator Pitch.
Venue Cricket makes booking a unique venue for your next event a breeze. We give you an alternative to the same old boring venues by providing easy access to creative spaces like art galleries, car dealerships, and lofts. Our site is a one-stop shop for information about our venues, and our users agree that browsing venue profiles is so much more fun than calling around! The best part is that once you have selected the ideal space, you can book online and pay by credit card.
TINC: To quote your website, “We believe that the market for venues is extremely inefficient, with great venues standing empty and event organizers spending unnecessary amounts of time searching for a venue that meets their budget and needs.” Can you tell our readers more about the process and reach of your company and the service you provide?
Venue Cricket is currently focused on the Chicago market, and we are adding new venues all the time. As far as we are concerned, any interesting space is an event venue! In the current environment, small business owners are looking for additional revenue streams, and many of them have one right under their nose. Venues like churches and home showrooms already maintain beautiful spaces as part of their primary business. Now they can share those spaces with others after the regular workday is done. This brings them some extra cash and as an added benefit spreads the word about their business to potential new customers.
From a user perspective the process is simple. Our site allows you to filter venues along a multitude of dimensions like capacity, price, and event type. Of course, we are also here to answer questions and make recommendations.
TINC: What industry would you most closely align your company with?
We are an eCommerce company that serves the event industry. Venue Cricket serves as a matchmaker between event organizers and venue owners. We make the connection and the two parties work together to ensure that the event is a success.
TINC: How is your product different from the other guys? What makes your company unique to the scene?
Currently there are plenty of sites that provide databases of venues. However, we take it a step further by allowing you to complete the entire transaction online. Furthermore, our venues own their profiles. That means that they can log in and change their information and availability at any time, making it much less likely for the information to be out of date. Finally, our venues truly are unique and many can’t be found in other online sources.
Currently we have just a handful of employees spending varying percentages of their time on our business.
TINC: Who are the founders and CEO’s of your company?
Ella Lief and Dmitry Grekov are the company’s Co-Founders. Ella focuses on the business side and has previously worked in Management Consulting and Finance. Dmitry focuses on the technology and has worked in IT Consulting and at other startups.
TINC: When was your company established? What is the official founding date?
The company’s official founding date is December 12th, 2011.
We are writing our application in PHP, using Zend Framework as the core framework. We use MySQL for the database and Redis for our cache and session store. The stack runs in the cloud, and we use Dotcloud for that. The combination of industry standard tools and the redundancy provided by cloud hosting allows us to make a fast, responsive, and reliable product.
TINC: What is your technical approach that makes your software better? How are you getting the details right or working in a more optimized way?
We follow a lean methodology and are always reexamining our product and process. We take usability and stability first and new features second. At all times we are looking at the way people are using our site and making changes to make it smoother and easier for them. Also we try to automate as much as possible, including our testing efforts. We use BDD tools to test our site in a much more through manner compared to human testers.