Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Name of Business: CityVibz.com
Type of Business: Urban Entertainment Guide
What does your business do?
CityVibz.com is your online guide to urban entertainment.
CityVibz.com features over 10,000 entertainment listings plus
an online travel reservation system for over 20 U.S. cities.
CityVibz.com is about discovering the perfect nightclub, finding
the right restaurant, searching for activities and events,
seeing the sights, discovering the arts, finding local attractions,
tracking live music, and travel planning. Discover a City
and get the Vibes on Nightclubs, Bars, Music, The Arts, Dining,
Travel, Attractions and More! Based in Downtown Chicago, Illinois,
CityVibz.com is dedicated to finding unique and offbeat entertainment
and nightlife information for today's hip, Internet-savvy,
urban thrill seekers.
When and why did you start the biz?
February 26, 2001; CityVibz.com announced the launch of its
new Urban Entertainment Guide.
CityVibz.com was founded by two entrepreneurs who left challenging
management positions in the IT industry to start their own
company. Working in the IT industry allowed us to travel and
experience entertainment in several cities across the United
States. Already having over 11 years of combined IT and Entertainment
experience and looking for new challenges, we decided to use
our skills to build a one-stop entertainment guide.
Having witnessed the dot-com explosion and failures, we decided
against the Venture Capital route. Instead, we opted to privately
finance our venture and draw upon our experience in the IT
and Entertainment industries to offer a unique online service.
CityVibz.com is able to provide these services by combining
their own entertainment information and supplementing it through
strategic partnerships and affiliations.
How Many People in Your Company?
Where's your office?
High-rise apartment building in Chicago, with excellent views
of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
I would say having to do multiple tasks throughout the day,
week, month, year. It's all up to you, marketing, advertising,
technical, promotion, finance, sometimes you just feel as
though there's just too much to do and never enough time.
Remember what everyone says about starting your own business,
"You're going to work 16 hour days." Well, it's
true, but actually it's also the part of the job that I love,
the momemtum and pace is awesome!
What's the most fun part?
One of the fun parts of running your own business is knowing
that everything my business partner and I have envisioned,
created, promoted, and managed, all came from an idea. That's
where it all began. It keeps us humble and yet it is the most
rewarding part of our job. I get to also check out entertainment
from cities all over the country, not a bad job at all.
Has your age been much of a factor in business?
Actually, I would say yes, it helps in my business to be hip
to the city scene and the local trends. I believe people my
age have a much better vision of what the Internet should
be and where it should go.
Anything you would have done differently?
We had come up with a good business plan prior to starting
our business, but I would have liked to have spent more time
on the design of the website. We spent a considerable amount
of time prior to launching our website, making design changes,
color schemes, layout. I would say all the implications of
designing a good website took us by suprise; we realized this
is an art all to itself.
What's next on the horizon for you and your business?
I'm optimistic about the future of our company even in these
radical economic times. We have the ability to make faster
shifts towards other markets, which will hopefully allow us
to remain competitive and innovative in uncertain times.
CityVibz.com will continue to provide unique entertainment
listings and content, we will also begin to develop our B2B
business in the areas of content licensing, syndication and
What advice do you have for others who are planning to make
The advice I would like to give people is the following:
1. Do your homework; develop a good business plan.
2. Bounce ideas off of your family, friends, co-workers; this
will help develop weaknesses with your idea and business plan
and will allow you to gain their support, which you will need
3. Get financial backing before leaping, and be sure that
you can live up to 8 months without a paycheck. (Actually
the experts say enough for a whole business cycle.)
4. Find mentors or other leaders you can lean on when you
might need an expert, as in accounting, finance, marketing.
This was very helpful to us, being able to rely on other people's
talent to help our company.
5. Don't look back, never think about what you could have
done, or what you should have done, just continue going forward
and do the best you can. Remember: it's life, have fun with
How do you use Idea Cafe to help you with your biz (and/or
I use Idea Cafe to get business tips on marketing, entrepreneurship,
finance and I subscribe to the newsletter for featured articles
on new leaders.
School (where, still in school, degree?)
Bradley Universtiy, B.S., Business Computer Systems; Art Institute
of Atlanta, A.A., Music Entertainment Management
Prior jobs or business?
Project Manager/Personnel Manager with Ciber, Inc.; Team Leader/Business
Analyst with American Management Systems, Inc.
What else - Pizza
Anyone you publically want to thank or say Hi to?
I would like to thank the online community for providing me
with an opportunity to launch my dream.
President & CMO