(Special thanks to Josh S and Indhi of 4EVR for their time and insights)
Many Chicago tech startups begin with a simple goal of addressing a client or customer need. In many cases, those startups see the audience simply as a client making a purchase or paying a subscription. However, a new Chicago startup named 4EVR, aiming for a 2020 Chicagoland launch focuses on the wedding industry that takes client and event professional perspectives relations one step further. By taking an empathic approach to event professionals and their clients, 4EVR intends to attract a strong community of advocates to make an overall positive impact on the greater Chicagoland community.
After all, 4EVR – a platform focused on matching and connecting event professionals with potential clients around weddings – was conceived by a co-founded born in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. CEO Josh S had grown up in the events and hospitality industry: his mother had run a successful event planning business for twenty-three years and now leads events at Wrigley Stadium His father gained prominence in the restaurant/ hospitality industry and now owns Bar 22, one of several restaurants in Chicago’s South Loop. Josh witnessed the challenges of event professionals always finding the next client. Finding new clients is a challenge for any entrepreneur; for event professionals, this becomes even more critical, and Josh S saw an opportunity.
An opportunity that occurs on the most important day for many people: their wedding. Observing that the wedding industry generates $72 billion worldwide, but that only about $2.9 billion of that money is tapped, Josh drew from his experience and insight and realized the unique challenge of matching and connecting professionals to clients on an extremely critical day. Developing an algorithm that was curated with the help of professors, universities, and respected professionals, Josh S realized that this was a unique value proposition. With this algorithm, the 4EVR platform could more accurately match event clients to event professionals for weddings based on similarities in personality, temperament, and event traits. As the startup grew, Josh S brought on Indhi, a former colleague who has an MBA and Master of Science in Information Technology from IIT, as Lead of Engineering, 4EVR faced the challenge of developing its app into a user-friendly, technically advanced product.
(Also, all 4EVR staff are certified in the industries that 4EVR offers, enabling them to communicate with both event professionals and event clients)
As a Chicago startup with an empathetic approach towards its users, 4EVR takes a unique approach to maximize the app’s unique value. “Break Parties” gather a diverse array of event professionals and clients to encourage “breaking” the web application and algorithm to locate and flaws in the technology, connection, and processes.. (As Josh S and Indhi explained, they believe that customer service isn’t a department, but a focal point for the company) . Part of 4EVR’s efforts also includes building their community through an internal blog as well as social media (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest). These efforts derive from a simple belief: empathy demonstrates community.
In an effort to foster true diversity within their organization, 4EVR embraces the philosophy that making employees feel comfortable in the workplace enhances overall productivity and welcomely invites different perspectives. This Chicago startup also embraces true diversity in its workforce and seeks to recruit more women, people of different backgrounds/ religions/creeds, and members of the LGTBQ+ community for various positions starting with marketing staff and engineers. They are seeking talent over experience, with a specific focus on developing unique strategies for finding solutions and solving problems. 4EVR’s launch in 2020 will focus exclusively on building a community around weddings in the Chicagoland area, allowing them to refine and establish a model for future growth and expansion.
Every step of this Chicago startup’s method has a specific focus on understanding the emotional needs of both clients and professionals around weddings. This focus on empathy and community over commodity gives 4EVR a very unique edge as a Chicago startup.
And they’re only just getting started…