Mobile app Nowza brings buying power to events

Ever go to a concert, buy the band’s tour t-shirt early to make sure you get one and then lament having to lug it around the entire time? To Ed Cantrell, that experience is a mobile app startup in the making.

Nowza bills itself as "a mobile app that delivers what you want from a live event." It provides a platform for people attending an event, such as a concert, to buy paraphernalia. So instead of waiting in a vendor line and toting a poster around for most of the time, users can order the same item online and have it delivered to their home.

"When you're at the event it lets you know there is a virtual store there," Cantrell says.

It also opens the door for more sales for the performers and venue, which is a vital part of the event’s business plan.

"You want to sell your stuff while people are there," Cantrell says. "The best time to sell your goods, which is a major part of your income, is at the venue."

The Harper Woods-based startup uses Amazon and iTunes as part of the sales process. "That way they don't have to start an account," Cantrell says. "They can start buying products right away."

Nowza and its team of three people recently made the semifinals of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in downtown Detroit last month. Cantrell says the experience helped his company solidify its business plan and push forward on its marketing campaign that it intends to ramp up in 2014.

"It was quite an education," Cantrell says. "There was some stiff competition."

Source: Ed Cantrell, CEO of Nowza
Writer: Jon Zemke

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