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Cache Flow Podcast

E37: From Throwing Parties in College to Scaling a Marketplace Tech Company with Makenzie Stokel

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In this episode, Makenzie Stokel, co-founder of EVA, shares the evolution of their platform from helping musicians get paid to connecting entertainers with businesses for corporate events. She discusses the challenges of transitioning into tech and the importance of validating ideas. Additionally, she talks about managing demand on a two-sided marketplace and pivoting to a virtual model during Covid-19. Finally, Stokel shares insights on the role of masculine and feminine energy in business and future plans for Eva’s expansion.

Makenzie Stokel is the Co-Founder of EVA, a technology-driven platform that connects event planners with vetted live entertainment. With a focus on delivering customized experiences for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events, Makenzie and her team at EVA are serving leading brands and companies with top-notch entertainment solutions in North America. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Cache Flow:

  • Product management became a crucial part of Eva’s growth.
  • Makenzie emphasizes the importance of explaining how the industry works to determine the longevity of the business.
  • EVA is a two-sided marketplace that connects entertainers and event planners; event planners can browse the directory, request specific entertainers, or build an event to match with available entertainers.
  • Managing demand on both sides is the biggest challenge for a two-sided marketplace.
  • Masculine and feminine energy play a role in business and personal relationships.
  • The future plans for Eva include expanding into adjacent markets and potential partnerships.Makenzie values being lean and profitable in business.
Connect with Makenzie Stokel:
Connecting with Brian Dainis:
  • 02:40 – “It’s hard to make a lot of money performing live because there are so many musicians and especially when they’re just getting started, they’re willing to play for free or really cheap and it kind of drives the price down for musicians like a bar if they know they can get Joe for 200 bucks for five hours, like why would they pay Sandy a thousand dollars.”
  • 46:02 – “I do think women in those positions of like pitching and, and looking for money or partnerships, whatever it may be, when the majority of the time a man is across the table, we do just have to think a little bit more about things and like how we’re going to be perceived, whereas men probably don’t have to take those extra steps.”
  • 48:35 – “I can be working, and I’m in CEO mode, I’m in like masculine go mode and then like, you know, if I have like a gig with my bands at the end of the day after I worked, I’ll have to like take the time to transition out of that like go business mode into like getting in touch with being able to connect with like the emotional side of myself to be able to perform well.”
  • 09:19 –  “The mistakes that I see made when, you know, when a client has a, a product they’re looking to build is, you know, if they immediately go to like the offshore route, which a lot of people do through like Upwork, you know, it’s like a lot of people have bad experiences with that, and they just jump to blaming it on the offshore team or the offshore person. Sure. Which is often, like sometimes it could be the case, maybe that person was incompetent, but often it’s not the case. And what they’re missing is product management and product ownership in the middle.”
  • 12:52 – Brian: “And then like when you get these boom markets like in 2021, you know, being like in a dev firm you start hearing all these pitches like Facebook for dogs or like people drinking beer, like sending beer selfies to their friends. Like, oh it needs to be an app and… ”Makenzie: “Right. Absolutely. Well, I mean that too, I think brings up the other point of how important it is to validate the idea before building it.”

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Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Curotec, a software development solutions provider, offering both project-based application development and staff augmentation services. Global top consulting experts in Laravel, Vue.js, and enterprise WordPress development services. Contact Curotec today to discuss your next development project, or to augment your in-house team with top talent. 

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