Today we’d like to introduce you to Joel Black.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After a year-long stint playing Texas Hold’em, I had gone bust and needed some quick dough. I lied my way into a bartending gig in the valley and little did I know it would change my life. My career jumped off in 2007 when I landed the role of bar manager for Comme Ca restaurant on Melrose Blvd.
At the time, it was one of the hottest spots in town, with an acclaimed mixology program, run by yours truly. Back then, the craft cocktail scene was just getting started and we got a lot of attention. It was definitely one of the best times to be behind the stick. I was doing interviews for major publications like the LA Times and Vanity Fair and was invited onto morning talk-shows to make my fancy libations. By 2009 I had become a key player in the bar industry and was starting to get a lot of great opportunities. I was the first Tito’s vodka brand ambassador on the west coast and was getting invites to judge spirit and mixology competitions all of the country. At one point, myself and one of my best friends (and bar ops rockstar), Julian Cox, was approached by a production company to produce a reality TV show called, Joel and Julian’s Quest for a Proper Cocktail.
In 2010, I decided to leverage my current situation and started my first company, Black LAB Events (www.blacklab-ventures.com). Almost ten years later, Black LAB is still in business and going stronger than ever. We’ve had the good fortune to work with amazing brands like Neiman Marcus, Google, and Spotify. As well as on numerous celebrity events for megastars like Joe Jonas and Jennifer Lopez. In addition to executing some pretty swanky parties, we also consulted on some of the biggest bars and clubs in the country, like Bootsy Bellows on the Sunset Strip, Tom’s Urban at LA Live, and the House of Blues in Anaheim.
Fast forward to 2017. At this point, I’m now in my mid 30’s and looking for something new to work on. After about six months of contemplating what’s next, I was tinkering on the Black LAB website, thinking about ways I could improve my business. That’s when I had a big idea. One of the biggest pain points in my business was the time it takes to propose and book a client. I thought, “If I could create a marketplace of event packages for my website, my customers could just book themselves.” I immediately started searching for a solution but none of the traditional e-commerce sites offered the functionality I needed. So, off to the races I went. I saw a huge opportunity to disrupt a massive industry and decided to put everything I had on the line to start my new tech company, EventCinch. Our software enables event professionals to design event packages they can easily link to their website. I will say, starting this business is by far, the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done. Looking back on how easy Black LAB started, I had no clue the challenges I would face.
After a year of testing the software on my own business, we were ready to share EventCinch with the world. We just launched our paid beta, brought on an awesome COO and are growing our team and customer base. We are working with some amazing event companies and my vision has been completely validated. My brother said it best when encouraging me during one of my low times, “Joel, stop being so hard on yourself. Do you know how amazing it is that you had an idea, brought it to life, and you actually got people to pay for it?!?”. I will say, without the support of my friends and family, I definitely wouldn’t have gotten this far. I wish I could tell you I’m now out of the woods and enjoying my millions, but this story isn’t over yet. I believe 100% in what we are working on and the team we are building. And I still have the same mindset I’ve always had. Work hard, be of service, and never give up on your dreams! To be continued…
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting EventCinch has definitely been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. When I first came up with the idea, I pitched it to some investors and got a couple of offers but not at a valuation, I was willing to accept. The offers were what you call “flyers” and I wanted investors who truly believed in me and could provide strategic value. However, turning down money, when you think you really need it, was freaking tough! But, had I accepted that money, we would not be where we are today. It took personally putting every penny I have into the business, so I was 100% committed and focused. You’d be surprised how much more thoughtful you have to be when you have no money and your back is constantly up against the wall. But, I truly believe it was making those tough decisions in the early days that got us to where we are now and will ultimately lead to our success.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with EventCinch – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
If you’ve ever planned an event before, you understand how long it takes to request a quote and then email back-and-forth with the vendors to work out all of the details. The process can literally take days, if not weeks, to book the services you need. Wouldn’t it be better if event business could offer instant pricing from their websites? Why can’t you shop for event services like you shop on Amazon?
EventCinch is a SaaS company that has completely streamlined this process. We enable event professionals to design a marketplace of event packages that can easily be linked to any website. In addition to building event packages, our merchants can create custom proposals that provide an interactive environment to work with their clients in real-time. Based on an event’s guest count and timeframe EventCinch can generate an accurate quote and allows customers to customize the event to fit their exact needs.
It’s our goal to improve how events are planned by providing the technical resources event businesses need to thrive online.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Moving forward, we will continue to grow our team and help as many event businesses as we can!
- Website: https://eventcinch.shop
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eventcinch/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventcinch
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/EventCinch
- Other: https://www.blacklab-ventures.com/
Maria Waller Photography