18 Nov 2020 | 10.39 am
Events Manager Crowdfunds For HotFoot App
Elite Events Management seeks to raise €150,000
18 Nov 2020 | 10.39 am
Elite Events Management is back from the dead with a pivot into the tech space, after Covid-19 saw it lay off its nine staff when 13 out of 14 large-scale events had to be cancelled over the summer.
The sports events company has rehired four of its staff and is now developing a new sports and fitness app, HotFoot, for which it has started a crowdfunding campaign.
The campaign is being run on Spark Crowdfunding, and the company is aiming to raise €150,000 at a pre-money valuation of €500,000.
Chief executive Oliver Kirwan said: “We’re raising a small amount of money now at a very modest valuation to hit the ground running, and we want to give our members an opportunity to own a share of the business from the outset.
“Crowdfunding is the ideal vehicle for that. With a cash injection now, we can grow very quickly and exploit what is truly a global opportunity. We are building our own proprietary technology and all funds raised will be used to rapidly scale the number of users of the app.”
Before the pandemic, Elite had 14 large-scale events planned for the year, including the Quest Adventure Series, the Ring of Beara Cycle, the Wicklow 200 cycling challenge, the Dingle cycle and the Run Killarney half marathon (pictured).
Only one event, in March, could go ahead and Elite found itself on the brink, having to let its nine full-time staff go.
Kirwan added: “Our business was stopped in its tracks with Covid-19. For the events and entertainment industries, there seemed to be no roadmap for return.
“We have more than 30,000 people attend our events each year. Over the summer, we realised we weren’t going to be able to host events again this year. We decided to run a virtual Quest Adventure Series in August. We set routes all over the country, and people completed those routes individually and we recorded them. 1,500 people took part.
“We used an off-the-shelf app for it. The app didn’t work as well as we wanted it to, but there was huge demand for it. So we decided to create our own app with pre-determined virtual routes for running and cycling.”
How The App Will Work
Kirwan added that the HotFoot app will be able to guide sports and fitness users through running and cycling routes using audio cues, while users can generate their own routes and compete against others with a ghost function.
“You can create a route yourself on it, and anyone can compete in that route,” said Kirwan. “You can see if one of your friends did the run and compete with them. It will tell you if you are catching up with them, going slower than them, it guides you through the routes with audio cues. It will be like a satnav telling you to turn left ahead, but also telling you your friend is ahead and you need to catch up.”
Spark chief executive Chris Burge pointed out that HotFoot will be unique in having access to a huge database of clients from the moment of launch, with the company initially targeting its own 100,000 members to take up the app.
The business model is a freemium service in which the basic features will be free to use and additional features can also be accessed for a monthly subscription.
The campaign is in full swing here, and anyone wanting more detail can contact Kirwan on 087 98 77 880.