Recently had the chance to interview Sheena Allen, founder of PartyTell, a start-up website for the people that love to party, PartyTell tells you where all the hot parties are, who will be there, and what time you need to be there.
Sheena Allen (@whoisSheena) is a 22-year-old entrepreneur from the small city of Terry, MS. Sheena has had a passion for entrepreneurship since coming out of high school, and definitely learned her lesson at an early age.
At the age of 19, she created a social networking website that caught the eye of a group of investors. Sheena backed out of the deal after the investors, who probably felt that Sheena was young and easy to get over on, wanted 50% of her company.
At the age of 21, Sheena emptied her bank account and decided to invest in herself. That same year, Sheena was featured in Mississippi Business Journal and on the India technology blog, DigitalSocial.In.
Now, at the age of 22, Sheena has two companies going, PartyTell and PhotoLinkage, and three more projects in the works.
Me : Tell us about your background and role in your company.
Sheena Allen : It is often said that if you take what people complain about the most and fix the problem, you have the perfect business on your hand. That is what I did. So many times my friends, others around me, and me myself would complain about receiving all of those invites and messages to events that we had no interest in attending.
So I took that complaint and I created a solution. PartyTell.
Me : What are your main features/services?
Sheena Allen : Partytell is an entertainment source for events and parties going on in cities throughout the USA. We make it easy for local residents or visitors of a city to find out what is going on in that city. Our service enables people to find events by simply going to our website and choosing a city and state.
After choosing your area of interest, information on events, including the name of event, venue name and location of the event, age limit, celebrity guests, and additional information is given. People can search for events on our website and our iPhone app. We almost make it easy for promoters and event planners to list and promote their events.
Partytell offers free and unlimited event listings. Our goal is to make it quick, easy, and convenient for events to be listed. Even if you are not near a computer, events can be listed through our Partytell PRO iPhone app.
Me : What makes your website different from other websites competing in your industry?
Sheena Allen : Our goal is to make is easier and more convenient than other websites. In your car? Sitting at the doctor? No problem. Open our Partytell PRO app and in a few minutes, your event has been listed and can be viewed through our app and on our website.
Me : Tell us more about your website/firm’s success story?
Sheena Allen : The success that we have seen in the 8 months that we have been live online is amazing. We have a lot of visitors and promoters that use our services in California, Georgia, Texas, New York, and Florida. It’s a blessing to be able to attract people in such big cities. By attracting people in the larger states, it shows that we have a promising chance of attracting people in other states too.
The hundreds of downloads of our app in the first 2 days that our app was released, with no marketing done, also gives me assurance of the promising future that PartyTell has.
Me : What are some of the myths in your field?
Sheena Allen : Promoters are more interested in doing local advertising. My response to that myth, local advertising such as radio advertising is great, but what about those people who are coming in to visit that city and haven’t listened to the radio. Promoters and event planers are learning that the Internet can indeed be their best friend.
Me : How do you develop your skills in this continuously challenging environment?
Sheena Allen : I place my cheese in order to catch the snake. My mind is my best friend.
Me : What do you see as the future of the industry?
Sheena Allen : I think the industry will continue to be the way it has been for the last 20 years. There will be companies who will come along and do great for a while and then be replaced, and then there will be some companies who will have greater staying powers. But it is important as the owner of an Internet business to remember that you are replaceable. I’m sure that MySpace didn’t think they could be replaceable, but we all know that that isn’t true.
Me : What will be the challenges; do you anticipate any drastic changes?
Sheena Allen : I’m sure as we grow; people will come along and try to duplicate what we are doing and how we are doing it. We have only been live for 8 month, but we already have a five-year plan in order with up to 3 update designs already in order. We are prepared for the challenges.
Me : Where do you see your company/website in the next 5 years? What about you personally?
Sheena Allen : I see Partytell as the leader in event promotion. We are only in the beginning phase. The things that we have planned for Partytell in the near future are amazing. For me, in 5 years, I see myself as building an empire. I see myself as being a self-made millionaire. But I must say, being an entrepreneur or millionaire will not be the title I’m most proud of. Philanthropist, that would be a title that I would carry with the most pride.