Hunter Abramson, who spent two years building a ticket-based technology company in Lakeland and was named Catapult Entrepreneur of the Year in January, has decided to move his company Relic Tickets to St. Petersburg. bottom.
Relic Tickets aims to disrupt the ticketing technology industry, where Ticketmaster, who has recently come under scrutiny from consumer groups over November’s “Taylor Swift debacle,” dominates the market.
The company uses blockchain technology to track verifiable digital assets (in this case, tickets) to address challenges in the sports and entertainment industry. Through a “know your customer” process and blockchain technology, the company can prevent fraud and scalping by verifying customers and eliminating bots that buy tickets and sell them on secondary markets for a higher price. Relic claims.
“Our immediate goal is to focus on fixing the issues,” Abramson said. “I get a lot of questions: ‘Are you guys going for an IPO or a merger deal?’ We are currently focused on making our technology as perfect as possible while changing the market. ”
Abramson says the new technology could be used not just for concert ticket sales, but for music festivals, conferences, air travel, and “everywhere has an access pass.”
“Everyone talks about Ticketmaster, but we also have Eventbrite. “What would a music festival or conference look like if a new technology that hadn’t been innovated for a long time was introduced?”
The company’s technology can also attach rebates to tickets, allowing event partners and sponsors to track revenue data.
Abramson was named the 2022 Catapult Entrepreneurship Awards David Lyons Entrepreneur of the Year. Catapult is an entrepreneur incubator created by the Lakeland Economic Development Council.
“That award to me was more than just a business award,” Abramson said. “For me, that award is the respect of my peers as someone who works in the city and makes it better.”
Although the company employs locally, the threshold for technical experience is high, and it needs a location that will better attract the level of technical talent it seeks, Abrhamson said.
“Our tech people need to have a lot of experience,” says Abramson. “That’s one of the reasons we go to St. He’s Pete. That Tampa Bay area has our talent level.”
Abramson said the variety of events and increased opportunities for collaboration influenced the company’s move to St. Petersburg. The number and variety of events held in coastal cities allows them to push their technology “to the limit,” Abramson said.
The company’s move is expected to take place over the next few months.
Dubbed a “technology evangelist,” 33-year-old Abramson grew up in Lakeland, attended Lakeland Christian School, and studied communications at Florida State University. Abramson returned to Lakeland from Los Angeles in 2019 after a career in sports entertainment.
While Abramson said Lakeland was “perfectly suited” to start his company, the area’s small sports venues and limited opportunities for large-scale live entertainment have made it difficult for the region to grow. He commented on the difficulty of scaling a tech entertainment-based company. Lakeland’s sports and concert-going population pales in comparison to cities like St. Petersburg.
“It’s stiff. I’ve never hesitated to say it out loud. It’s hard to scale a tech company here,” Abramson said. “I think Lakeland is ready for startups to scale and explode here, be it specific industries, food startups, tech logistics companies. and entertainment It’s pretty hard.
Through the company’s development, Mr. Abramson has partnered with the Lakeland Economic Development Council, a private non-profit organization whose primary role is to help create jobs and capital investment by attracting new businesses to the Lakeland area. We have worked closely together.
“Certainly Rerick would have liked to have stayed in Lakeland, but ultimately, it gave him more opportunities to continue growing his company and test the concept in the St. Pete market. Senior Vice President, LEDC “There were more sports and entertainment companies using his product than there were in Lakeland.”
Relic “is seriously considering staying and growing in Lakeland or moving to emerging cities like Austin, Texas or Miami, Florida,” the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation said in a blog post. “They had some familiarity with St. Petersburg because the co-founders grew up in the nearby city.” showed.”
The blog post quotes Abramson as saying: St. Pete’s Her EDC welcomed us with open arms and showed us the way to the possibilities. All we had to do was follow it. And here we are.
Abramson told LkldNow that he will miss Lakeland. “I don’t want to leave. It just takes a few adjustments,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get people from St. Pete and Tampa to come see the catapult.”
“My heart is in Lakeland,” Abramson said. “Lakeland was our first home.”