May 18, 2012
Event discovery is available for the taking. You can use Foursquare to see who is at a given venue in your vicinity, but it does little in terms of finding new events. RAVN made the where its central focus, but due to a lack of traction, closed up shop earlier this week. Content hubs such as Thrillist and Sosh.com make the what as their starting point, but if free time is hard to come by, many of these events are irrelevant to the reader. That’s why apps such as Plancast, Forecast, and Sharewhere have started to emerge – they’re betting that the “when” will ultimately determine this winner.
San Diego-based Time to Enjoy also believes that time is the key element for this unclaimed territory, but they add a missing ingredient – your schedule.
“We’re driven by time. We’re often left wondering, ‘What’s there to do? What free time do I have to do it? The conference is over at 4pm, what’s going on after that?‘” says Jan Anton, Time to Enjoy’s co-founder and CEO.
By importing your phone’s calendar, users can quickly scan through their schedule, find gaps of free time, and tap on this open block to populate Time to Enjoy’s list of local events. Anton’s service pulls events from fellow San Dieg0 startup Eventful, which adds more than one million events per month, as well as Tribune Media Services to get local movie times, the same source used by Fandango. “We intend to continue to enrich our service with more sources,” Anton adds.
Early adopters of the Time to Enjoy app have included two general types of users, those who travel a good amount, especially for business, and moms, which came as a bit of a surprise to Anton. “We weren’t expecting that, but it makes perfect sense. Moms are constantly looking for events to take the kids to. Our app offers that solution.” Down the road, Anton believes that his app can capture the college-aged market as well, most likely by offering local happy hour deals.
Advice to Entrepreneurs
With a long history as an entrepreneur, Anton’s business ideas have continued to evolve along with technology. “I embraced technology early on. I was one of the first users of the duel floppy computer back in the days of my first startup, a real estate technology business.” Since, Anton has built a cloud-computing software business for school districts and an online auction service.
Prior to these businesses, however, Anton spent some time working on the campaign trail, which he credits to making him more productive as an entrepreneur.
“One of the disciplines I bring from being involved in campaigns is that I’m very good at devising a schedule and keeping them running on time. Elections are going to come whether you’re ready or not. In business, it’s equally important to be able to meet deadlines and keep a team focused.”
When asked what advice he’d offer to those starting up today, and Anton had the following to say:
“Stay focused and stick to your plan. Although you do have to be flexible, if you’re continually jumping around, that’s not good. Focus on one thing and do that well. Keep the blinders on, and don’t get distracted.”
Get Time to Enjoy for the iPhone today (Android version expected out later this year).
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