Local Startup Feathr to Host Winter Ball and Give Back to Gainesville
When Feathr was first founded in 2012, the Gainesville startup had no idea what kind of opportunities would come its way. After a couple iterations, a few competitions and a move to Austin’s Capital Factory, Feathr, composed of just two co-founders at the time, brought the company back to Gainesville to spread its wings.
“It was basically four years to an overnight success. After a couple of false starts, which were rich in learning but poor in revenue, we found our niche and everything clicked,” said co-founder and president Aidan Augustin.
Feathr uses its love for helping event organizers, conferences, trade shows and associations to surpass their business objectives by leveraging digital intelligence to empower better business decisions. Or put simply, a digital marketing tool for live events.
Moving back to Gainesville has played a major role in the company’s recent success as Augustin and his co-founder Aleksander Levental grew the team from two to 20 in just 18 months.
“Gainesville, and the southeast as a whole, fosters a much more practical business mindset than startup hubs like Silicon Valley or even Austin and New York. Less hype, more results,” explains Augustin.
To celebrate its success and give back to the community, the company will host a Winter Ball-themed event at The Wooly on February 11th. All ticket proceeds will be donated to the Alachua County Humane Society.
“Feathr is all about big ideas. As we’ve grown into a global company, serving over 15 countries, it has made where we started from ever more present,”said Feathr’s office manager Kaitlyn McGowan. “We’ve seen first hand the positive impact we can have beyond our computer screens by supporting our community and other local businesses,” she said.
When the time came to start planning the event, Augustin wanted to throw a wedding reception-style party minus the wedding. But since the company couldn’t find anyone to let Feathr officiate their wedding, they turned to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s Yule Ball for inspiration.
Selecting the venue, McGowan admits, was the hardest part. But deciding to have the event at The Wooly was an obvious choice.
“The Wooly’s interior is gorgeous and doesn’t require too much decoration outside from a few string lights here and there. The walls have so many little embellishments and they carry an all-around sophisticated and vintage theme that saved us a lot of time and money,”said McGowan. “In addition, they offer the option of everything we needed in-house: photo-booth, pool table, bartenders and catering,” she said.
At Feathr’s headquarters, they have a pet-friendly office policy. The team is encouraged to bring their pets to work as it boosts morale and gives Feathr’s animal parents peace of mind knowing their furry companions aren’t lonely while they’re in the office all day.
“One of our team members volunteers with the Alachua County Humane Society, and she told us about all the hard work the Society does to save and care for hundreds of dogs and cats. This struck a chord with us and we instantly knew we wanted to do what we could to support this animal-friendly cause,” said McGowan.
As Feathr has grown as a company, so has its ability to give back. Alyssa Vertuca, who’s been working at Feathr for over a year, says that’s been the biggest change she’s seen.
“As a team, Feathr has always been interested and committed to not only being engaged in the Gainesville community, but also actively giving back to the city that’s played such a big role in the growth of Feathr,” said Vertuca.
An emerging leader in the Gainesville tech-startup scene, Feathr spots unique and impactful opportunities to get involved in the community as the company sponsors events like Changeville, Menagerie in Motion and Startup Weekend Gainesville.
“We love the tight-knit nature of the Gainesville tech startup scene. We benefited greatly from the community leadership of companies like Grooveshark and hope to play our part now that Feathr is starting to grow,” says Augustin.
The Yule Ball is meant to be an all-inclusive event that will bring people together. Feathr aims to show its gratitude by recognizing how welcoming and supportive Gainesville has been to the company.
“We hope that everyone becomes more aware of the community we live in and some of the amazing things Gainesville produces. Not just the successful businesses, but the great people as well,” said McGowan.
“We’re all similar in some way, and we hope this ball brings people of different backgrounds together to enjoy the same thing,” she said. “And of course, above all else, we’re looking forward to helping the Alachua County Humane Society save lives.”
Tickets are on sale now here and will be available until the day of the event. Prices are set to increase on January 28th.