By Rony Civil
An online platform selling discounted tickets for sports and cultural events while supporting nonprofits, the startup Give-a-Seat plans to make its mark with its clever, people-centred concept. An interview with Guillaume Campeau, one of its founders.
Where did the idea for Give-a-Seat come from?
The idea arose during my studies at HEC Montréal, when I met Théo Corboliou, cofounder of Give-a-Seat. I worked for the Rogers Cup for a few years, where I was in charge of the ball crew, and I kept noticing that at every game, despite the tournament’s popularity, a few seats always remained empty. I think this observation gave rise to the initial idea for our startup. The idea turned into a real project when Théo and I took part in the HEC Montréal Parcours entrepreneurial Rémi-Marcoux as well as the InnoCité MTL cohort.
How would you describe your startup’s concept?
Give-a-Seat’s concept is simple and effective. First, we partner up with events that have not succeeded in selling all their tickets and offer to sell them on our platform. Then, with the provider, we select a non-profit organization that will receive a donation connected to ticket sales. This way, the organizer optimizes sales while enabling a good cause to benefit from the profits. Give-a-Seat bridges the divide between these two important sectors for us. We are able to help several causes, particularly in health and sustainable development. What I also like about our startup is that it gives people the opportunity to take part in an event at a lower cost, which democratizes access.
Théo Corboliou and Guillaume Campeau, founders of Give-a-seat.
What is your strategy for the future?
We know our startup’s development will happen through the consolidation of long-term partnerships. By diversifying our offer through these recurring partnerships, we will gain more customers and keep the ones we have loyal. Solicitation is thus a crucial step for us. We were recently given the opportunity to work with the Formula 1 organizers. I would say that developing a business relationship with large-scale festivals could be an interesting avenue for us.
What kind of events are found on Give-a-Seat?
You can find anything from sports events, like the Oasis marathon, which will take place on September 24, to music festivals like Piknic Électronik. Our offer is diverse and caters to several different tastes. This diversification will enable Give-a-Seat to claim its place as a leader in Montréal and, potentially, abroad.
What are the next steps for your startup?
First, I’d like to say that we are very happy with the public’s response to Give-a-Seat. Tickets are selling out very quickly and consumers seem satisfied. Right now, we’re working on developing our ticket booth and online platform. A mobile app will soon be available to meet the needs of our customers.