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Posted on August 25, 2016 by staff

Vibe Tickets boss: Mentors crucial for successful start-ups

A tech entrepreneur who has won praise from Richard Branson has spoken of the importance of mentoring to a start-up business.

Luke Massie’s Vibe Tickets is really going places, having recently attracted more than £327,000 in funding from 154 investors on Crowdcube, including £260,000  from serial tech investor Scott Fletcher.

Massie, 23, founded the Lancashire-based ticketing business in 2013 when he became frustrated by his experience at re-selling tickets for a concert he could no longer attend.

Seeking to sell on £400 worth of Ed Sheeran concert tickets at face value, he found that online marketplaces wanted to charge him an extra £100 for the privilege.

Not only that, but the buyer would also be charged £100 – and Massie would not have received his money for eight months, once the gig had been held.

He reached out on Twitter and quickly built a following of similarly disillusioned people who simply wanted to move surplus tickets on.

But he needed advice when it came to turning the mass of Twitter activity into a platform to take on the big resellers.

“The importance of mentoring is when you’re going out to sell a proposition, you learn how not to do it,” he told a BusinessCloud tech entrepreneurs conference at the International Festival for Business.

“You’re learning from their mistakes and the pain they went through.

“It doesn’t just save you money – it saves you time.

“We learnt quickly to build the right team and foundations so we could then go on to scale up the business.”

Massie recently made it to the final three in the #VOOM 2016 Virgin Media competition, and spent the day at Virgin founder Branson’s house, meeting his team of experts and associates.

The crowdfunding campaign, which is ongoing and has a target of £600,000, is making 10 per cent of the business available for purchase by fans, followers, friends and venture capitalists.

Before it Vibe had already raised over £400,000 – including £200,000 from technology entrepreneur Matt Newing – but Massie said the new round of funding would take the business to the “next level”.

Massie, who has been confirmed as a speaker at BusinessCloud’s ‘meet the disrupters’ event in September, said spending time with Branson was a life-changing experience.

“Not only did I get the chance to pitch to someone of the stature of Sir Richard but I got through to the last three and received the sort of advice that money can’t buy,” he said.

Fletcher, the founder and chairman of specialist private cloud and managed services provider ANS, has recently invested six figure sums into Manchester Agency Digital Next and Jonny Cadden’s Business Rocks event in the city.

Speaking to BusinessCloud, he said: “Luke is a force of nature. His vision and passion is infectious and goes to show that age is irrelevant when it comes to business.

“He’s been praised by Sir Richard Branson after making it to the final three in the #VOOM 2016 Virgin Media competition but  he’s hungry to learn more.

“Vibe Tickets has the potential to disrupt the industry and that really appeals to me. I’ve got no doubt Luke will smash his £600,000 target but I think it’s vital that tech entrepreneurs like me get behind great businesses and great people.”