Taranaki entrepreneur helping to revitalise and 'de-risk' event planning

New Plymouth man Jacob Manning is one of the co-founders of SuchCrowd, a crowd sourcing site which sees event planners ...
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

New Plymouth man Jacob Manning is one of the co-founders of SuchCrowd, a crowd sourcing site which sees event planners secure audiences before planning tours.

A group of young Kiwi entrepreneurs have set out to change the face of live entertainment touring throughout New Zealand and globally. 

SuchCrowd is the latest crowd sourcing platform, where musicians and artists can "de-risk" events and shows around New Zealand, by securing their audience before planning their tours. 

For New Plymouth-born co-founder and chief financial officer Jacob Manning, that means a region like Taranaki could easily see more top-class acts come to town. 

Tin Htoo Aung, Jacob Manning and Abbe Hyde, co-founders of SuchCrowd.
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Tin Htoo Aung, Jacob Manning and Abbe Hyde, co-founders of SuchCrowd.

"It's really interesting looking at where people decide to tour. 

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"Whether it's smaller or larger events, they seem to skip regional areas," he said. 

Event organisers tend to stick with Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch venues because with a larger population will likely mean more ticket sales, Manning said. 

How SuchCrowd worked was an artist could register their interest in coming to an area and if there was enough interest from that area, they would go because they knew they wouldn't be losing money, he said. 

"It's about the artist saying, 'I'm happy to come to your town and perform and through the platform they get an early indication of numbers.

"The onus is then moved to the crowd."

Manning said he was hoping to sit down with the New Plymouth District Council to talk about how they could work together to bring more events to the region. 

SuchCrowd was a project born out of Startup Weekend Dunedin last year, Manning said. 

"We accidentally built a really good team which happens from time to time." 

The group decided to develop their idea further, eventually getting through Lightning Lab business accelerator in October of last year. 

They have since expanded their staff from three to six people and started operating out of both Dunedin and Wellington, Manning said. 

"Crowd sourcing is different from Pledge Me and Kickstarter and Givealittle in that we don't want it to be something where any artists says 'hey this is what I'm doing if you'd like to support me' because that tends to just stick to their own network of friends and family," he said. 

The former Francis Douglas Memorial College student said he had always been somewhat of an entrepreneur and after less than two years of trying to make it as an accountant in Australia, turned his mind to more start-up ideas. 

While SuchCrowd was his full-time job, he was currently completing his Masters in biotechnology in Dunedin which went along with his other ecological innovation start-up, using enzymes to biodegrade plastics, he said. 

 - Stuff

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