Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel met in college — both Music Business majors, they quickly bonded over their love for live music. The dynamic duo started planning and hosting their own house shows and small festivals to bring their musically-talented friends together. During this process, they realized there wasn’t a good way to keep track of all those live shows in one place.
“We did more and more unique events and realized how hard it was to book artists manually. We realized we weren’t the only one with this problem,” says Stokel.
Nashville-based EVAmore, founded by Stokel and Moreland in 2015, solves that problem by automating the process of booking live music for private events.
“Event planners for weddings, corporate events and college socials do not have an easy way to access vetted talent for their events,” says Stokel. “We handle contracts, payment, and artist discovery all online.”
The platform allows event planners to create an event with a budget range and music type. After it’s posted, artists who meet the criteria go in to bid, with a current average of 10 responses within 2 days. The event planner can review music videos, listen to songs, and, coming soon, be able to chat with the artists to nail down details prior to the event.
From there, EVAmore takes care of all of the small, but necessary details — like contracts and payments — and you can see it all on your dashboard.
After a stint at Project Music, a Nashville-based accelerator for music-focused startups, during their junior year of college, Stokel and Moreland validated their idea. By interacting with major music players and investors, they quickly gained the confidence to build their startup and pitch their idea.
“Project Music was huge for us because we were still in school, so we had no business experience and had not made any connections in the music industry,” says Stokel. “We were the youngest by ten years and the only female founders. We had the time to do market research and determine what our business model needed to look like.”
The founder duo raised a seed round earlier this year led by Alabama-based Emergent Holdings to expand tech development and hire their team. Stokel says that they wished they would have better honed in on their customer base before diving fully into their product.
“My advice to other founders would be to spend a lot of time figuring out who your customer is and why they would want to use your product/service,” says Stokel. “We made the mistake of spending money on our assumptions the first time.”
But they found their footing and are on their way to solving a problem — helping event planners find the right band for their event and making the booking process easier for both sides.
Currently, EVAmore charges the event planner a 10 percent service fee and takes 10 percent from the artist’s fee (similar to an agent fee) to generate revenue. The artists, which include 100+ acts from across the Southeast and Midwest, do not have to pay to be listed after they are accepted to the platform.
“We hope that someday booking agencies can use EVAmore to book their artists at private events. Right now, we are on 25 campuses across the Southeast and midwest. We hope to scale to more universities and do more corporate events,” says Stokel.
Next up, the team plans to grow and ramp up their digital marketing to keep up the booking momentum.