Innovation Birmingham Campus-based emble has launched a new app to plan and collect cash for private parties, group weekends away, staff events, stag and hen dos. Designed to make social event planning much easier and streamlined, the start-up company is hoping to attract 50,000 users during 2015 by offering much greater functionality than Eventbrite, Doodle and the Facebook events facility.
emble’s dedicated planning function offers the ability to suggest and vote on dates and activities. Guests can be invited from the major social networks, or by email. Once the event logistics have been agreed, money can be collected through the emble app via debit or credit card payments, with a small handling fee at the point of guest payment – cheaper than Eventbrite fees – being the source of monetisation.
Ria Blagburn, 28, co-founder of emble said: “I arranged two hen dos last year – seeking agreement on dates, activities and then collecting money from friends of friends you’ve never met is really hard work! We have set out to streamline that, by creating a closed forum where all guests – whether they’re social media users or not – can agree on the date and activities collectively. And then pay on a credit or debit card in the same way they would for online shopping. There is no charge to the event organiser, just a small fee added on when the payment is being collected from guests.
“Although there are a number of websites that offer arranged activities for stag and hen weekends, there is a huge gap in the market for an app that actually takes the strain away from the best man, chief bridesmaid, or Christmas/birthday party organiser.”
emble has launched as an online application, with plans in place to develop a version compatible for smart phones and tablets.
emble was accepted onto Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme in 2014. The programme’s Entrepreneurs in Residence have assisted with the development of the business plan, and the start-up has received some early-stage investment from a local angel investor.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “The team behind emble has identified a gap in the market for an online e-commerce application that is designed to have mass market appeal, catering to a number of audiences including friendship groups and staff parties. I wish them every success in rapidly building up their user base, which will bode well for attracting lucrative equity investment.”
The Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) business incubation centre, provides bespoke mentoring and business planning to achieve investor readiness, as well as free telephone usage, 20Gbit/s broadband and office space for six months; a package which has a monetary value of £10,000. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, e4f is unique to Birmingham and is specifically designed to harness and support the city’s burgeoning tech community.