From investment banking to undercover party promotions: a start-up story From investment banking to undercover party promotions

A new mobile app, Party Hype, brings partygoers the best of the city in real-time. Here's how Anna Frankowska and Andrzej Frankowski came up with the concept and started up.

PartyHype

The sibling entrepreneurs see a world where access to the city's best parties is in the palm of your hands.

Sibling entrepreneurs, Anna Frankowska and Andrzej Frankowski decided to ditch the nine-to-five life and follow their passion for parties after discovering a gap in the market. Out in London one night, Anna realised that there really isn’t app specifically for the party circuit in London, intuitively connecting partygoers to the places to be in real-time, so that no two nights out are ever the same.

Working with her brother, the IT brains behind the app, Anna launched a “nightlife ecosystem,” Party Hype, relying on the power of the people through user-contributed live social media reviews and updates. Here’s how they started up.

What does your business do?

Party Hype is a mobile platform that connects the entire nightlife ecosystem, focusing initially in London before rolling out to more global cities in 2017. A companion for the night, app allows people to discover the best party in town, book tickets and get on the guest lists, broadcast their night to other users in real time, and meet like-minded people. Venue owners can engage with users directly through the Party Hype app, ensuring more successful nights for partygoers and nightlife businesses alike.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

On nights out, I used to always find myself in a situation where I didn’t know which places to go and I didn’t know where like-minded people were going. I just thought: wouldn’t it be amazing if there was an app that would reveal on the night where the best parties are happening and help spark new encounters?

How did you know there was a market for it?

With the UK nightlife economy worth £66 billion per year – yet in danger of declining due to these venue closures – this is a prime market for innovation. London’s nightlife industry alone is worth £26.3 billion annually, and research suggests this could rise to £28.3 billion by 2029.

At the same time, however, information on nights out is often all too static and doesn’t represent reality. For venues, competition for customer attention has never been greater; brands are all competing for access through fragmented social media channels. Using technology, we are combining the entire nightlife ecosystem into one mobile platform. As I went undercover as a club promoter to gain first hand experience, I also have the understanding of the business from connections in the nightlife industry.

How did you raise funding, and why?

Once we proved the concept with our beta and that we were capable of managing the company, we received seed investment of £500,000 from an angel investor and shareholder member of the Bacardi family. The funding has allowed the Party Hype team to accelerate development, branding, and business planning, taking the platform out of beta and into full launch.

Describe your business model in brief.

We are a marketplace, and so we monetise from the businesses that use the platform – example, charging clubs and party organisers. This already happening offline, but we provide an efficient electronic solution.
Going forward, it will be a subscription model, social media marketing (alcohol companies have recently doubled their budgets on that),  commissions, and intelligence tools advisory.

What was your first big milestone and when did you cross it?

Back in March 2015, we released a simple beta version of the app and received extremely positive feedback from everyone – including club owners who saw a massive promotional opportunity, as well as genuine connections between customers through the ‘Play’ feature.

At that point, I knew it was a matter of determination, persistence, patience, creativity and execution. I had always planned to quit my job and commit to Party Hype full time, but that moment incentivised me to go for it and waste no more time. Over the next six months, I gained invaluable insights into startups, venture capital, management, and the nightlife market.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Passion is key, but be patient and stay focused. Also, don’t get discouraged by people who don’t share your vision; if everyone saw it, everyone would be doing it. Finally, accept every criticism, but filter it to improve – every obstacle can be turned into a lesson or opportunity.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

We want to create a party empire, powering the nightlife market in key party cities, and to be globally beloved trendsetting brand followed by many. Nightlife venues and brands need a technology-fuelled advocate, to help build customer connections and streamline the market. As such, we want to completely revolutionise an industry that’s so vital for the economy and for people’s wellbeing.

If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be… ?

Well… one is born an entrepreneur!

What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?

Everyone who starts a business should begin from the very roots of their industry to develop a comprehensive understanding. Finally, believe in yourself, work hard, act smart and be patient.

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