STARTUPS TO WATCH: FaveQuest

Jim
Jim Donnelly
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However you describe local firm FaveQuest, “quiet” probably isn’t the most appropriate.

FaveQuest CEO Allan Isfan. (file photo)

After all, the firm launched its first major product – a “Viewtube” application that includes modules clients can drop into a website, Facebook applications and a social iPhone app – to the thunderous beats of 2009’s Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest. It received rave reviews in the media soon after and was such a hit, founder Allan Isfan said Bluesfest signed the firm to help showcase 2010 and 2011’s events.

It’s all part of Mr. Isfan’s grand strategy of being a market leader in the major festivals market. Indeed, the company has also recently signed deals with Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival in Toronto, Winterlude, the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and a number of Rochester, N.Y.-based events.

The product’s design is geared to engage visitors and encourage them to share what they’ve discovered – from who’s playing the Bank of America stage on Saturday to which beer tent has the shortest lineups – with friends.

The result, FaveQuest says, is that fans stay on festival sites longer, buy more tickets and invite more friends, leading to more attention and attendees for events.

FaveQuest, which is profitable, employs a white-label model that involves customers paying extra for premium, customized software. This platform approach allows the company to develop custom builds quickly, which in turn keeps costs down for clients.

“This has been our primary model so far in order to fund development and learn the market,” he said.

Another revenue stream for the company is its “Festival in a Box” offering, a fully hosted solution for a monthly or yearly recurring fee. FaveQuest is currently in private beta with this product, and has already signed the local Music and Beyond classical music festival as its first customer.

“I think we’re one to watch, because there’s no one else that has a solution like ours for the tens of thousands of festivals who can’t afford the high price of a custom development. Founder and CEO Allan Isfan

Mr. Isfan said other potential clients the firm has pinpointed are web development companies who may want a turnkey mobile social offering, or online listings hubs.

“There are a lot of listing services that businesses can list their locations with, but few that have an engaging social media presence,” he said. “And one of the things we looked at doing would be something like RockinOttawa.com (an URL owned by FaveQuest), which would be a hub of everything that’s going on in Ottawa but using these tools.”

Year founded: 2009

Local head count: 3, with three or four additional occasional local contractors

Funding to date: None

Product: Social media platform for live events

Organizations: Bank of America

Geographic location: Canada, Toronto, Montreal Ottawa

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