November 17, 2013
Levi and Matt Benson found that when they tried to purchase or trade tickets at an event, they were often spending more time looking around for a good deal than actually enjoying the show. This isn’t a problem specifically surrounding them; we’ve all experienced this.
To solve the issue, Levi and Matt started Get the HookUp, a Pittsburgh-based company that gives users the opportunity to list whatever it is they’re looking to buy or sell. People nearby can find them, discuss what is being sold, and settle on a good deal, all in real-time.
“Everyone can see that the current model displays none of the efficiencies of a marketplace,” says Levi. “People often tell me of stories of missing their favorite event or having to eat a ticket because plans changed at the last minute. The current resources to buy and sell tickets work great, except on game day, or in real-time.”
Get the HookUp uses their platform to create a literal marketplace in the parking lot. Using GPS, they can place pins on a map showing each and every person’s location to eliminate wandering around with tickets held high in the air.
“Unless you are a professional scalper, there is no way to know what the ticket you are buying and selling is actually worth,” says Levi. “And middlemen are, more often than not, in control of the price, effectively taking the spread between the buyer and seller.”
Get the HookUp maps out a digital marketplace, but the Bensons decided to go one step further and let users share their tailgates and parties via Facebook. Friends no longer have to follow your poorly worded, drunken directions to find you at your car in the parking lot.
This depth of experience is one of the factors that drove Levi and Matt to leave the functionality of Get the HookUp open-ended. By letting users decide how best to use it, they have opened the door to multiple possibilities not once fathomed by their team: t-shirts, tickets, hats, and food are being traded via their platform.
“We know that we are solving a problem for people and disrupting a major industry, so I know it will work,” says Levi.
There are other apps in the market space the team is aware of, but Get the Hookup is the only one that offers GPS mapping functionality. And they have employed an ‘old fashioned’ market approach to show as many people as they can.
Levi and Matt go to potential users in the parking lot and talk with the people holding tickets in the air: a direct approach. They decidedly wear all orange so no matter the team color, you notice them coming.
For a company based around sports and events, Pittsburgh is the perfect place to be – thanks to its three professional sports teams, big-name concerts, and well-networked community. Get the HookUp is taking advantage of a thriving tailgate scene, dedicated fans, and no shortage of ticket sales opportunities.
Get the HookUp was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Pittsburgh Mixer & Startup Showcase on October 11th.
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