Longtime local entrepreneurs launch startup that turns digital tickets into souvenirs – The Business Journals

Dan Gigante keeps a list of startup ideas on his phone.
One was inspired in 2016 by two National Hockey Federation teams doing away with paper tickets. Gigante, whose resume includes co-founder of Clevermethod, founder of You and Who and partner at 26 Shirts, wondered if there’d be a replacement keepsake for printed tickets.
Several years later, he and his wife Katie Krawczyk are bringing the idea to fruition. The pair, who also own marketing agency 19 Ideas, launched Went right before the Buffalo Bills’ first 2022 season game against the Los Angeles Rams.
The business creates custom commemorative souvenir tickets printed for people to save, whether they attend in person or watch on TV.
“Ideas are a dime a dozen,” said Krawczyk, who once worked at 43North. “It’s really about yes, timing, and then also how quickly can you go to market? Do you have support in place to go to market?”
After testing the concept for the Jan. 15 Buffalo Bills-Patriots Wild Card game and the excitement for the Bills’ 2022 season, Went checked the boxes for timing and going-to-market.
“There’s so many opportunities with this idea, pretty much any event you can imagine,” Krawczyk said.
The couple is looking into options for concert tickets and collegiate sports licenses to market to that fan base, possibly starting in August.
Went’s tickets have a unique QR code that goes to the startup’s website. The business expects to add a feature next year for customers to record a video memory that is connected digitally to the commemorative ticket.
Next up: University at Buffalo Cultivator, a three-month early-stage startup program that includes potential funding upon completion, which Went started early this month.
“Some of the other companies I’ve started in the past, they never got fundraising options,” said Gigante. “I think this one might be the right one, because there’s so many things we could do. The only thing that’ll stop it is resources.”
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