Stagend, an entertainment booking portal with over 2’000 entertainers from all over Switzerland is now partner with Mx3, the music platform built by the Swiss national radio with over 20’000 bands. We talked with CEO Marco Alberti about his company, the deal with Mx3 and the problems for live bands.
Stagend is an entertainment booking tool which collects and categorizes a large number of entertainers, so that users can find & book the most suitable one for them. Entertainment offered ranges from live bands, party DJs, Jazz ensembles, classical quartets, soloists as well as magicians, clowns and many more kinds of entertainers, in order to make every event memorable for their users.
Marco, please tell us your story.
I’m Marco Alberti, 32 years old and I live in Lugano. I grew up there and then moved to Fribourg to study Information systems at University. I must admit that the decision to do this kind of study has been suggested by a school orienting people that warmly invited me to avoid pure informatics because of my not-so-good votes in Mathematics. After my bachelor, I moved to Lausanne to do the Master at HEC University Lausanne: that decision is the one that changed my life. In Lausanne, I was able to follow some great lessons, especially the one held by Prof. Yves Pigneur, co-author of the book Business Model Generation: I had the luck to learn that famous method two years before the book release.
How and when did you found your company Stagend?
The first idea came out during my master and during my experience as musician. In fact, since 2002 I play guitar in a metal Band called Soulline and with them I toured a lot in Europe. Living the problems on the field is a very competitive advantage because I am able to live the entire problem in first person. We started to work on the Stagend-concept in 2010 and the very first version was launched in September 2011. Lots of months later, we learned a lot from customers request and we decided to pivot and to serve especially the event organizer, opening the platform to cover bands, magicians, clowns, and other kind of entertainers. It took us some time to switch, but now we are happy and our company is growing.
What is Stagend about?
Stagend is a platform that helps organizer to find and book the right entertainer for any kind of event. We have more than 2’000 entertainers such as bands, DJs, magicians, clowns, dancers and comedians. And our customers are the organizer of weddings, corporate events, fairs, private parties, birthday party, small festivals, bar/restaurant events. We help them to match. Before Stagend, finding a band was very tricky and only Google could partially help. We provide a list of entertainers with references and audio/visual proof in order to decide quickly if the entertainer is right for your event.
How many members are in your team?
At the moment we are six people working full time. Two people on the business side, two people on the technical side and two people on the customer care side.
You were part of some venturelab programs. What programs did you visit and how did they help you to grow?
I followed the Venture Plan and the Venture Challenge programs. All of them were very important for me, especially because I was in the beginning of the journey and I have no idea about how to build a business plan. They helped me to clear up my ideas and finding a way to build the startup.
A few weeks ago it was announced that Stagend will partner with Mx3. How did that deal come about?
Mx3 is a great platform and every Swiss original band has a profile-page with them. Their mission is to bring swiss music to swiss radio, and up to now, they reached a lot of great results and counting. Due that our mission is to bring more live moments in the events, the partnership between us is very natural because we offer two complementary services.
Does Mx3 own a part of your company?
No, it is not a corporate partnership, but a customer oriented partnership. We met them at one of their events „Grande Photo de Famille“ at the Bundesplatz in Bern.
Was this a goal for you?
Our goal is to help event-organizers finding the right entertainer and creating great moments of shared happiness. This partnership allow us to take care about mx3-customer booking requests and so. We are happy to help!
Are you talking to investors right now? If yes, with who?
We are always in contact with our investors or meeting new ones. But I cannot disclose the names.
What are the next steps for Stagend?
Every day I read the customer’s reviews and every day it is a huge joy for me and a happiness refill. Their satisfaction bring us to keep working well and reach new customers. Up to now, our customers were based in the German part of Switzerland only, but since some weeks, we started to work in the French part too… et c’est trop bien d’être en Suisse avec quatre langues nationales. In my opinion the cultural exchange between the Cantons is one of the greatest part in this work.