Meet EVA – the MusicTech start-up that clients have called their “secret weapon” when it comes to booking entertainment. EVA is an automated, entertainment booking platform that connects customers to vetted artists and entertainers for their live, hybrid and virtual needs.
EVA is the brainchild of founders Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel, two music lovers who began the project as students in 2016 at Belmont University – which is, fittingly, located in the heart of Nashville.
Moreland and Stokel’s original business idea was to create a platform that curated concert suggestions based on the user’s music taste – similar to Apple Music’s “For You” section. They began hosting events on campus to promote this platform but quickly saw that the real market need was in sourcing entertainment.
Stokel and Moreland saw the opportunity to help both ends of the industry – the starving artists and large corporations. They pivoted, and made it their mission to eliminate the messy details, paperwork, and uncertainty that corporations often face when booking entertainment. They began connecting artists/entertainers that they believed in to larger brands and budgets, to support and kickstart their careers.
As their brand grew, so did funding.
“We began gathering funds conservatively, raising small angel investments to ensure we could sustain before getting to where we are now, working with Venture Capital,” Moreland said.
The startup raised a $2 million venture round earlier this spring, according to Crunchbase.
Since then, EVA has grown into an automated booking platform that provides a streamlined technology experience to large scale customers, like Pinnacle Financial, American Cancer Society, Dell and ESPN. EVA has two main customer types: event planning agencies – like experiential agencies and destination management companies – and corporate direct, where EVA works with the company’s in-house event team to provide high-quality entertainment.
EVA sources this entertainment through social media advertisements, word of mouth, and local booking agencies and management companies. To ensure high-quality, EVA has a vetting checklist to evaluate the entertainer’s skills based on their specific entertainment type, high-quality live performance videos, performance experience and professionalism. If the entertainer makes it through this process, they might end up under one of EVA’s popular booking categories, which include Singer Songwriter, DJ and Full Band.
Stokel and Moreland express that continuing to expand services into new markets is at the forefront of their 2023 vision.
“We are really excited to scale up and open in new markets. So far we are in Nashville, Austin, Dallas and Chicago right now. We really want to grow further in the Southeast, into places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, are next on our roadmap,” said Stokel.
The founders have prioritized growth, while keeping their love and support for entertainers at the heart of the company.
“While we’re super passionate about growing our core launch plan, we see the bigger picture extending to provide the entertainers or creators more services to help their career in the future. We’re super passionate about giving entertainers and creators the ability to self-sustain their own career. But there’s a lot more in our roadmap that we’re excited to unveil soon,” said Moreland.
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