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New Website Handles  Ticketing, Events Planning
Sci & Tech

New Website Handles Ticketing, Events Planning

Knowing when and where public events are held in Iran is a difficult task, whether it is an important conference, workshop, play or a music concert. There is limited access to information about dates and times of events.
Buying tickets for most events is an even more opaque business, as many online transactions in Iran are often non user-friendly.  However, as the field is opening, new types of businesses are beginning to fill the cultural, scientific and commercial void.
Enter EventBox.ir, a new website for viewing events and buying tickets, which has been developed by expatriate Iranians and local developers.
Speaking to Financial Tribune, Sara Mohammadi, co-founder of EventBox.ir, explained what gave her the idea of launching this new startup.
Mohammadi, the founder of TEDxTehran, and a seasoned management consultant with companies such as PwC and Monitor Deloitte, is moving back to Iran to create the business that would become her new passion.
She said that when thinking about this platform, one of her main problems was figuring how people could actually pay for an online service.
"The payment solution was one of the main hurdles in creating our business. There was a hole in Iran's social media business landscape and no venture had yet successfully managed to bridge that gap," she said.
"From my personal experience with starting TEDxTehran, I had very limited options; platforms such as Eventbrite.com (an international event website) and PayPal don't operate within Iran."
She could not use what was available internationally and that motivated her to get the idea off the ground.

  Reality
Mohammadi said she was well aware of the task she had undertaken, but the event industry in Iran was ripe for new entrants like her business concept.
However, selling tickets online is not the only goal of the new business. Mohammadi says the long-term vision of her startup is broader.
EventBox is only over a month old and the group wants to build their range of services, including becoming a partner organization of event planners.
So far, the group has three premium partners who can help companies outsource the events to the company's experts.
The company plans to work with the reemerging expatriate community in Iran as well, with the site extending services in both Persian and English.
Mohammadi hopes the site can also be used for business events as well. Expanding on the expatriate and foreign market, the co-founder said, "American companies wish to partner with us [currently unable to until sanctions end]. We have really hit a nerve."
The startup is not completely on its own; there is a wider online ticketing agency community, including companies like IranConcert, Tiwall and gisheh.net.
They are also up against other new entrants looking to take a slice of the emerging sector, such as MyEvent. The latter is supported by Iran Entrepreneurship Association in association with Sarava Pars, Iran's leading tech venture capital group.
The entrepreneur also discussed the possibility of partnering with foreigners who are expected to enter the Iranian market after the sanctions are lifted early 2016.
"We’re open to working with foreigners; we are looking to work with overseas partners; we also want to create an integrated platform to use Shetab [Iran's local debit card system] abroad," she said, presumably to set up events in other regional countries.
Mohammadi said she was not looking for seed investment from accelerators like Avatech and Dmond, noting that those organizations may actually hinder her startup's progress as they have passed that point in their business.
She did say she was looking for "strategic investors", which would allow their company to grow out in the open.

  Future Plans
"In five years, we wish to be the go-to platform for businesses," she said.
Mohammadi predicted that once they are in their fifth year of business, they would move into other regional countries, especially in the Commonwealth of Independent States countries and Afghanistan.
"We have no logistical hurdles, we’re literally service based, and have a strong local team to grow out[wards]."

Short URL : http://goo.gl/3R7zvP

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