11 questions with PopBookings co-founder Erika Klotz

PopBookings is a startup based in Kansas City, Missouri, who recently received a $50K LaunchKC grant by winning the People’s Choice at Techweek KC. SPN caught up with Co-founder Erika Klotz over the phone. SPN: Can you tell us a little bit about PopBookings? EK: We’re basically Uber for event staffing. PopBookings is a platform designed to help…

Photo by: Mark McDonald
Photo by: Mark McDonald
Photo by: Mark McDonald

Photo by: Mark McDonald

PopBookings is a startup based in Kansas City, Missouri, who recently received a $50K LaunchKC grant by winning the People’s Choice at Techweek KC. SPN caught up with Co-founder Erika Klotz over the phone.

SPN: Can you tell us a little bit about PopBookings?

EK: We’re basically Uber for event staffing. PopBookings is a platform designed to help connect event staffing agencies to talent in a more organized way.

In the event staffing industry, many companies just use Craigslist and Excel to find and keep track of mass amounts of temporary employees for many high-volume events such as concerts, sporting events, trade shows, etc. and it’s very inefficient. We’ve made a platform tailored to helping them do their job faster and more efficiently.

SPN: How did you guys get started?

EK: We owned a modeling/fashion agency prior to this and a lot of people were trying to hire us for events. I was working these events myself and soon realized how much of an administrative mess it was to staff multiple events with multiple people here and there. So we saw the market opportunity firsthand and started there.

SPN: Who or what would you say is your biggest competitor right now?                      

EK: Our biggest competitive hurdle is the agencies who spend tens of thousands of dollars to build a custom system for their agency. This ends up being expensive for them in the long run and inefficient the industry overall when everyone is using different systems.

The problem with hiring a development shop to build a custom solution is that the shop does not truly understand their industry. We understand their needs and have built a system specifically for what they do.

SPN: What does the future hold for PopBookings after winning a LaunchKC grant?

EK: Right now, we’re in the middle of our seed round. The grant was a really good cushion for us to continue operations for a little bit longer and gave us the publicity we needed to really push PopBookings to the next level. Mostly, the grant money is going towards developing a better product. Right now it is really about who can build the best product for these agencies.

SPN: Can you comment on the total dollar amount you’ve accumulated in fundraising?

EK: So far we’re at $150K out of a $250K raise.

Photo by: Mark McDonald

Photo by: Mark McDonald

SPN: What are you most excited about within the next year?

EK: We’re really just excited about revolutionizing an industry that has been begging for technology. There are not many industries out there that haven’t been touched by tech, and this one is super exciting and fun to be a part of.

SPN: Is there a major lesson you’ve learned along the way that you could share with our readers?

EK: I have many, but one major lesson I learned is to be flexible and learn as much as you can. If you need to make a small change here and there, do it and don’t be a perfectionist. I’ve also learned to take your mentor’s advice, not as the Bible, but as more of a recommendation. If you do both of those things, you can go a long way.

SPN: Can you comment on what winning the People’s Choice at Techweek means to the company?

EK: It shows us that we really do have an awesome support system in the Kansas City community. We’ve known this all along, but really being able to see that and to be able to thank them publicly was amazing for us.

SPN: What was the latest milestone PopBookings achieved and how did you guys celebrate?

EK: We’ve had a few little milestones lately with our fundraising goals and with some of our sales goals. Whenever anything big happens for our company we usually end up getting some sort of expensive liquor and doing some fancy whiskey shots. Our CTO is in Delaware, so we call him up and do a virtual toast.

SPN: How can the Silicon Prairie readers help you?

EK: We are currently looking to bring in a .Net in-house developer. We’re hiring for that position within the next few months. If you have any introductions to .Net rock star developers who want to join a budding startup, we’re here!

SPN: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

EK: We were nominated for New Startup of the Year for the SPAwards! It’s a fun time for us, and we’re really excited to head to Lincoln.

Melanie Lucks is an intern for Silicon Prairie News and AIM Careerlink.

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