CEO and Co-founder of Venue.live.
Jason Goldlist Introduction
Jason Goldlist is Co-Founder of Venue (YC W22) and TechTO (Canada's largest tech community). I believe that to build an authentic community at scale, you need to bring together your members to learn, meet and grow with your leaders and with each other. Every month since 2014, I’ve hosted events for more than 50,000 members of TechTO, Canada’s largest tech community. Not only did we spotlight tech leaders to share lessons learned, but we dedicated half the time of every event to our community members meeting each other and making their own announcements too. And as the community grew, it got harder to execute. Not just from a philosophical perspective (how do we make this a good use of people's time?), but from a logistics one too. Like, how do we quickly make a microphone accessible to 1,000 people in a theatre? (Our solution: I ride a hoverboard around the audience with a wireless mic and give everyone 10 seconds to address the entire audience. It’s fun :) When the pandemic hit, I knew it was more important than ever to keep our community together. And if we couldn’t do it physically, we’d have to do it remotely. On March 19th 2020, we committed to hosting an interactive livestream every weekday for the rest of the year. (We ended up doing 115 weekdays in a row, and 140 total streams in the year). This was when I learned about a very real challenge: There wasn’t an engaging way for our members to participate in these large remote virtual events. And if I was experiencing this with our members, how were companies working remotely going to create company culture remotely? That’s why I started Venue. Traditional video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Meet, and Teams are built for small meetings, not big moments. Virtual event software like Hopin, Cvent, and Swoogo are more like webinars for sponsors than inclusive, culture-building experiences. Venue is the platform that we’ve carefully crafted for big meetings and presentations with an audience that you deeply care about engaging. We’re doing this by bringing interactive tools from social channels like Twitch, Instagram, and Discord to your company’s Town Halls, AMAs and much more. Not only do we provide the platform, but we can also provide support to help you produce and execute these engaging virtual events.