About Joe Cohen - He's a Founder, CEO & Board Member Extraordinaire
Joe Cohen has worked in and around live events for over 20 years and now spends the majority of his time facilitating relationships between entrepreneurs and investors. His professional resume boasts big names like Ticketmaster, Virgin and Match.com. As a founder and CEO himself, he helps navigate industry terrain and assists startups with fundraising, establishing goals and developing a long-term strategy to achieve them and encouraging team development. He currently sits on 5 boards, 4 of which he is the Chairman.
How did you meet eve’s CEO?
Almost exactly a year ago, Joe found himself at the office of an investor in a little town we like to call London, minding his own business, when his past caught up with him. Referring of course to his decades of experience in the live music and events industry. The meeting between Joe and Joel was pure happenstance but once they’d met, there was no going back. Joe was drawn to Joel’s passion and energy. “Joel spoke about eve with such positivity and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement.” Meeting a young entrepreneur and deciding to get involved was probably not what Joe expected when he woke up that morning but it just goes to show how important to keep an open mind and seize opportunities when they present themselves.
Joe’s familiarity with the industry gave him great insight into the fact that events as a whole are slow to adopt technology. Generally, most event professionals are more interested in finding innovative solutions that focus on the customer or artist experience rather than the back office (yes...they’re sexy and we know it). Knowing how the industry operates, he knew the sort of solution Joel was pitching solved an industry wide pain point and that a tool for event management and operations could change the world of live events. “There is a real opportunity to provide stability and resilience to an industry that is fraught with complications and prone to disaster.”
When you break it all down, the eve platform captures data. The insights that can be developed by collecting and analyzing data across promoters and events allow users to visualize problems and alleviate them before they become catastrophic and lead to the cancellation of said events. Additionally, event cancellation insurance is notorious for being overlooked until the last minute. eve’s “insurance as a service” approach starts working for event organizers way before something goes terribly wrong.
And then COVID happened...
The short term for any company was going to be rough, not to mention a startup focused on events. The industry as a whole has been at a complete standstill since March and there is still no determination on when things will be back to normal. However, despite the situation we all currently find ourselves in, Joe has great optimism for the future of eve. “The minute we all feel safe, the demand for events is going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. I’m not sure when that will be but it’s coming and we need to begin preparing for it now.”
If anything, COVID has shown us the real importance of cancellation insurance. No one saw COVID coming and insurance was not front of mind for many event organizers this year. Now that it’s happened, people aren’t going to make the same mistake twice.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the story of evePASS and Joe had a few thoughts when Joel first presented the idea. “At first, I was concerned about the focus being pulled from the core business to work on the development of a seemingly unrelated app. Once I thought about it a little more, my mindset shifted to thinking about the potential connections to the hospitality industry and those establishments that also host events. I figured it could lead to potential client acquisition or even just creating connections with some of the right industry people. Finally, if nothing else, it was a great team case study. The ability of this team to adapt, course correct and deliver results quickly during a time of high stress and uncertainty was astonishing.”
A couple months and nearly 2 million check-ins later, all Joe had to say about evePASS was “what’s next?” What’s next indeed.