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José María Ozamiz, 32, trained as a publicist and is an entrepreneur by vocation. He has just launched WeGow, a platform enabling music lovers to find and share concerts and festivals.
By Pilar Romero Barello
Music is such an ancient and intrinsically human activity that the idea of innovation sounds strange. But although melodies and rhythms don't change much, the habits and needs of those who create and consume music do. José María Ozamiz, one of the founders of WeGow.has come to the BBVA Innovation Centre to discuss precisely this, and to explain how technology can contribute to improving the experience of listening to live music.
“I want go to a particular concert. But is anyone else going? Because I don't want to go on my own”. José María has a very clear idea of what led him to launch WeGow, his start-up company, which provides a tool that guarantees that no one need ever miss out on going to a concert or music festival because they don't have anyone to go with.
He explains: “It was inspired by something that happened all the time: we often found we felt like going to a concert but didn't have anybody to go with. So we'd end up not going, and then the next day we'd see photos on social networks like Facebook and Tuenti showing that friends we could have gone with had actually been there. Once we'd spotted the problem, we set about coming up with some way to solve it."
Their best weapons? Technology and innovation. “Users only have to register by giving their details, and indicating their favorite kinds of music by tracking their music via iTunes, Spotify, LastFM or Deezer, and that's all we need to be able to put them together and tell them what concerts are on. What's more, we ask which friends or acquaintances they'd like to go to the concert, already bought their tickets," explains José María.
WeGow was set up in May this year and already has over 2,000 users, “which is very good considering that August –always rather a slow month– fell in the middle," noted Ozamiz. Their aim is to continue growing, but the most important thing is for people who try it to want to come back for more, he says.
They also offer ticket sales, a price comparison engine associated to Ticketmaster, Ticketea, Entradas.com... and the secondary market (user-to-user sales) like Ticketbis, Viagogo and Seatwave. “For example, the tickets for the Enrique Iglesias concert are sold out, but you can still get them through WeGow because they're being sold between users via Ticketbis," says Ozamiz.
Right now they have only the website, but they are soon due to launch a mobile app, “at the latest, by 1 January, and that way next year we can have a really significant presence among people who like music and enjoy physically attending all the concerts and festivals," says José María.
He has a team of four people to help him: Gonzalo García-Miñaur, a partner and co- founder; Alfonso Rocha, who's responsible for developing the product; and Patricia Suárez, who's in charge of communication. They have another partner, Alejandro Vázquez-Guillén, and outsource the design to José David and the programming to Mauricio, who works from Colombia. “The great thing is that this is a very manageable team structure. We all get on really well, we've known each other for years, and we're very good at what we do," says Ozamiz.
Another challenge is set up collaboration agreements with other platforms such as the one they've just signed with BlaBlaCar. That way they can also offer users easy options for traveling to concerts and festivals. “I used it last weekend to go to a festival outside Madrid and it was great," said José María.
Before leaving he tells us they hope to return to the Innovation Centre, as they're planning to enter BBVA Open Talent next year. "This year we were too late, but next year we won't let it get away", guarantees Ozamiz.