TicketCo establishing successfully in the UK

If Carl-Erik Michalsen Moberg were to predict the future in one word, it would be «growth». After two months in the UK they landed their biggest contract ever. Read about the company that started it's journey in our incubator Nyskapingsparken five years ago.

TicketCo’s goal is making ticket buying easier. Their vision can be summarised in three words: Events Made Easy.

These days, co-founder Carl-Erik Michalsen Moberg is quite busy. He now lives in London, working on making events and people’s ticket buying easier internationally. Luckily, he still got time to talk to Bergen Teknologioverføring. After all, it was in Nyskapingsparken Incubator Michalsen Moberg begun his adventure together with Kåre Bottolfsen and Hogne Sandanger in 2011.

Two months already paying off

After two months in the UK, TicketCo got their first contract – and their biggest contract ever. Junkyard Golf Club is an indoors entertainment concept in London, Manchester, Oxford, and soon also in Leeds. They are looking at four to five million pounds a year for this contract only. And in the end the number might turn out to be even higher. Read more about it here.

Q: What was your goal when you started?
– When we started, the goal was to make life easier for organizers – hence “Events made easy”. The goal from day one was to go internationally.

Q: What is your goal now?
– The goal is the same, though somewhat polished. Now, TicketCo is doing easier payments related to events. The goal is to become the new global standard for payment in the event industry.

Making money and taking social responsibility

Lately, there have been good times for the ticket company. They won the category Entrepreneur of the Year, at the European Business Award 2016. September this year, they got the Establisher Price from Bergen Municipality. Amongst the new shareholders in TicketCo, we find Tripod and Herman Friele, the coffee king in Bergen.

Besides making money, and winning awards, TicketCo takes social responsibility by supporting Kiva, an American non-profit-organization that work to eliminate poverty. Read more about Kiva here.

Q: What is the difference with the market in the UK and Norway?
– There is a different culture for business in the UK, but they still have the same challenges as here. The ones looked upon as big customers in Norway are small in UK context. When you run around in the UK there are so many possibilities that continually emerges – so you need to focus all the way. At the same time it is important that we keep or eyes and ears open so that we continue to innovate in an industry that is ready to receive us. This is already validated through customers coming in, and are already on their way back.

Q: Where to next?
– There is some parameters we need to go through before we enter a market. The UK is a great test that shows us if we can be global – a test we are about to pass. Then we need to look at the macro-image, for example share of cash in a market, adopters of smartphones, 4G coverage, etc. One thing we know is that “mobile is king” and that development will have main focus on this platform, in more and more current markets.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you have done, and what did you learn from it?
– The biggest mistake we did was the Bergen Beer Festival back in 2013. It get’s regularly mentioned when we present TicketCo, so just come by the next time we get the word.

Q: Who do you look up to?
– The ones that change established structures and challenges the world view. The most dangerous sentence in business is still: “It works, and we always did it this way.”

Q: Describe how much Nyskapingsparken has meant for TicketCo in one sentence.
– Immensely! When we moved into the park, the adventure begun. The access to mentors, the network around the park, the events, Hilde Indresøvde’s positivity, the energy with other founders, and the focus on common gain. This was maybe not a sentence, but I can say so much.

With good help from Nyskapingsparken

Nyskapingsparken did in some ways give TicketCo wings at the start of their journey. Our mentors guided them through Lean start-up methodologies, and introduced them to festival organizers and other customers to test their concept. Further, they got help with the company’s strategy, finance and budgets, find investors and recruit employees and board members. And finally yet importantly, we arranged the best move-out-party ever together, just ask anyone who was there.

From Bergen Beer Festival to the United Kingdom – where are TicketCo heading next?