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Watch > Episode > Kevin Hartz - How To Become A Pioneering Entrepreneur and Innovator in the Tech Industry

Kevin Hartz - How To Become A Pioneering Entrepreneur and Innovator in the Tech Industry

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As the founder and CEO of Eventbrite, Kevin Hartz has quite an impressive CV. Not only does he run the world’s leading self-service ticketing platform with $200 million of investment that has processed over 200 million tickets worth over $2.5 billion, he has also personally invested early in PayPal, AirBnB and Pinterest among others.
But Kevin isn’t your typical Silicon Valley CEO.  He is introspective and philosophical, noting that Eventbrite has been fortunate over the years to ride the waves of other successful technologies like Google search and SEO. He is also aware that in our ultra-connected social media world, us humans ultimately crave real, in-person interactions and events.

Since most of our guests on Silicon Real are based in London I find it uniquely fascinating to get inside the head of one of Silicon Valley’s true success stories. I think a lot can be learned from Kevin’s approach to business and life that we here in London can replicate for similar success.

As a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Kevin Hartz has made significant contributions to the technology and startup ecosystem. As the co-founder of notable platforms like Eventbrite and a key figure in the world of venture capital, Hartz’s journey is marked by innovation, vision, and a relentless pursuit of transforming industries.

Kevin was born in 1972 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region that would later become synonymous with technology innovation. His early exposure to the evolving tech scene laid the groundwork for his entrepreneurial aspirations. Hartz attended Stanford University, where he further cultivated his interest in technology and business.

Hartz’s entrepreneurial journey gained momentum in the late 1990s, where he co-founded several startups that showcased his innovative approach to business. One of his early successes was Xoom, an online payment company founded in 1998. Xoom went public in 2003, marking a significant milestone in Hartz’s career as a tech entrepreneur.

In 2006, Kevin Hartz co-founded Eventbrite, an online platform that revolutionised the way people plan, promote, and attend events. Eventbrite provided a user-friendly platform for event organisers to manage ticketing, registrations, and promotions, making it easier for both small-scale gatherings and large-scale conferences to streamline their processes.

Under Hartz’s leadership, Eventbrite experienced exponential growth, becoming a global leader in the event management industry. The platform’s success is attributed to its intuitive design, scalability, and adaptability to diverse event needs. Eventbrite’s impact on the events industry was profound, democratising access to event planning tools and empowering organisers of all sizes.

Eventbrite went public in 2018, further solidifying its status as a tech success story. Hartz’s role in creating a platform that simplified the event management process for millions of users showcased his ability to identify market needs and deliver innovative solutions.

In addition to his entrepreneurial ventures, Kevin Hartz has been a prominent figure in the venture capital world. His insights and experience have made him a sought-after investor, advisor, and mentor to emerging startups. Hartz co-founded Founders Fund, a venture capital firm, where he leverages his entrepreneurial background to identify and support high-potential startups.

As a venture capitalist, Hartz has played a key role in shaping the trajectory of numerous tech companies, contributing not only financial support but also strategic guidance and industry expertise. His influence extends beyond his own entrepreneurial successes, making him a driving force in the ongoing evolution of the tech startup ecosystem.

Kevin Hartz’s entrepreneurial journey has not been without challenges. The ever-evolving landscape of technology and business demands adaptability, and Hartz has demonstrated a keen ability to navigate change. Whether steering Xoom through the dot-com era or leading Eventbrite into the era of online events, Hartz’s adaptability has been a crucial factor in his sustained success.

Beyond his professional endeavours, Kevin Hartz has been involved in philanthropy and community initiatives. He understands the importance of giving back and has actively contributed to causes that align with his values. Hartz’s commitment to making a positive impact extends to supporting educational programs and initiatives focused on empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Kevin Hartz’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to his vision, adaptability, and impact on the tech industry. From co-founding successful startups like Xoom and Eventbrite to influencing the venture capital landscape, Hartz has left an indelible mark on the intersection of technology, business, and innovation. His ability to identify opportunities, create transformative solutions, and contribute to the growth of the startup ecosystem showcases Hartz as a pioneering entrepreneur and influential figure in the ever-evolving world of technology.

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