Alumna Eline Leijten discovered most people don’t have a notion how to book live music for a party, and invented an online platform which connects music and clients.
Tell us about your product.
‘Plugify is an online platform that connects artist’s supply to demand, and allows people to book an act in the wink of an eye. DJs, bands, singers, dance acts, but also jazz and classical ensembles. At this point it already represents more than 1400 artists. Via Plugify, artists get to present themselves to audiences, while as a client you can contact them instantly, gain a clear picture of the cost involved, read reviews and do the booking yourself.’
Where did you get the idea?
‘At university I used to sing with the Hermes House Band, the Rotterdam Student Corporation band. We played roughly sixty gigs a year and were signed up with booking agencies. To this day I still perform with the band every now and then. Except we’re no longer allowed to call ourselves the Hermes House Band. So sometimes it can be a hassle for people to find us, and equally hard for us to stand out from the crowd. By the same token, people don’t find it easy to book a suitable band for an event. It seemed a bit odd, that you can buy and arrange almost anything online these days, but people still don’t have the foggiest idea how to find the right artist. That’s what led to Plugify.’
What impact did your studies at Erasmus University have?
‘It’s been a wonderful and very useful foundation. I have six employees; my master in labour legislations sure came in handy. In addition, I understand general conditions in contracts and know how to spar with my attorney about the substance. My background in economics and finance provided me with the understanding of how to run a company, as well as things like solvency and cashflow management. I know how to read and scrutinise a profit and loss statement, and that’s useful.’
What direction are you set on for the next couple of years?
‘This year, I want to expand my business in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Afterwards we’ll move into the European market, starting in a market that’s very similar to ours. We’ll also expand our marketing efforts, and I hope to take the website to a higher level by adding new features for the artists as well as our clients.’
TEXT: Sanne van der Most
PHOTO: Charlie De Keersmaecker