It’s a late summer night and DC is headed home after work. Not so for the 70-plus people who’ve filled every corner of a Dupont townhouse. Pizza and beer await, once they check-in with Sajad Ghanizada, who verifies their attendance to the event through EventStir.
EventStir is what made the gathering, a happy hour for the Meetup group, DC Nightowls, possible in the first place. The Dupont based startup, founded by Andrew Mason and Ghanizada, lets you plan an event that only takes place if a certain number of people pay in advance.
EventStir not only keeps you from getting stuck with a big bill, it allows you to only pay for an event with a guaranteed minimum attendance. “We’re really selling event ideas,” Mason said. “EventStir was built as a platform to test concepts and see if enough people are interested.”
So far, EventStir has helped make everything from the camping trip among friends to a Potomac yacht cruise a reality. The cruise, a launch party for investors and area entrepreneurs, was how EventStir introduced itself to the world.
“We wanted to prove crowdfunding events could work by testing an over the top example,” Ghanizada said. If EventStir can make a party on a boat possible, Mason’s and Ghanizada’s thinking goes, then EventStir can help bring almost any event idea from concept to reality!
The startup itself may not have happened had it not been for a serendipitous meeting last November at Startup Weekend. Both Ghanizada and Mason, who didn’t know each other at the time, pitched similar event-focused ideas.
Mason pitched first, and Ghanizada thought his thunder had been stolen. “But the guys at the table I was sitting with said, ‘Pitch it anyway,'” Ghanizada said. “‘You never know what might happen.'” Ghanizada did pitch his idea, then he and Mason teamed up, grabbed some developers and started building the foundation for EventStir.
Three weeks later they left their jobs. A few months after they launched their product on a yacht, and now an increasing number of events are being scheduled through the site.
EventStir is currently focused on serving DC, but it may soon be spreading to other cities. In fact, right now anyone anywhere can use it to host a private event.