August 23, 2013
Great Falls, VA, is home to Katie’s Cars & Coffee, and every Saturday morning at 6:30 am, the coffee is served alongside revving engines and candy-coated paint jobs. The locals all get together for a few hours to show off their Jaguar E-Types, Ferraris, and Acura NSXs while enjoying their morning Joe.
While the weekly crowd is large enough, there are still plenty of automotive enthusiasts in Great Falls, VA, that might be left in the dark about Katie’s Cars & Coffee. Michael Briskie, the founder of PaddockScene, taught me that the automotive scene gets its news out via word of mouth, and that if you are out of the loop, you are missing events.
To keep domestic and international auto enthusiasts of all levels in on the action, Briskie developed his platform as a jumping off point that aggregates professional, amateur, and non-racing events taking place within a 200-mile radius around your location.
Users create their own profiles and can personalize a calendar that incorporates different clubs, venues, and their favorite make and models of cars. If tricking out your page is not enough, you can also submit your own user-generated content about anything automotive.
This all works to solve the central issue that surrounds word-of-mouth advertising by bringing awareness of these events to as many people as possible. From professional drivers to newcomers alike, the founding principle behind PaddockScene is to include everybody: even NASCAR fans.
“I had a proof of concept early on, back when I was keeping track of auto events in a Google Calendar,” says Briskie. “My friends kept asking to check out the upcoming events, and I knew that I could create a viable, general use platform.”
Briskie took that Google Calendar and turned it into an organized, centralized hub. While other sites like MotorsportReg, TrackProAdvisors, and DLBRacing do in fact cover events, they remain too niche or stray from non-racing events like luxury auctions and local gatherings.
PaddockScene is only two weeks into its live beta, and Briskie was worried that the paradox of user-generated content might cripple him: you need an audience to get content, but you need content to draw in an audience. In a brilliant display of lateral thinking, he cut the Gordian knot and self-uploaded as much unique content as he could.
“I may be very small still, but I see a lot of potential for PaddockScene to expand in the future,” affirms Briskie. “With effort and a strong PR push I will get a groundswell of support.”
The ultimate end goal for Briskie is to mold PaddockScene into a platform that promotes and sells tickets for automotive events, much like Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, and Song Kick do for concerts. This dedicated entrepreneur is riding the Autobahn to startup success, and leaving failure behind to eat his dust.
PaddockScene will be featured at Tech Cocktail’s Boston Mixer & Startup Showcase on August 27th.
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