The New Start-Up Recipe

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If you were launching an online start-up and wanted to make sure your service featured all the essential elements, here’s what the recipe might look like:

- Take a healthy of amount of social networking (Facebook, Evite)

- Add a good pinch of local search (Yelp)

- Mix in some low-hanging fruit advertising (AdSense)

- Add a couple programmers who know HTML, .Net, Ajax, Flash, etc.

- Stir in some angel or venture capital (optional)

- Bake for several months, launch in beta and serve when hot

It’s not a bad concoction given the current online landscape. After all, if you’re not going to be part of the Facebook eco-system, you better offer social networking given it’s all the rage. And if you can crack the local advertising/search puzzle, the world could be your oyster.

For an example of a start-up following this recipe, check out IPartee, which has just launched after doing a private beta in Canada. The Toronto-based company could be described as Evite on steroids. It lets you plan parties and events but it’s hoping to carve out a competitive edge by also giving people tools to find parties (clubs, events, etc.), connect with other party-goers, and offer reviews. You can also search for venues to find out what’s happen. For example, a search for Massey Hall in Toronto showed that Kelly Clarkson played Oct. 30 (Damn, I missed it!)

The IPartee service is free so the business model is advertising based on offering premium services to power and corporate users – giving it pretty much the same business model as Evite and others such as MyPunchBowl.

It’s left to be seen if the world needs another event planning service – even one with some social network and local search part of the mix – but it is good to seen that Canadian online entrepreneurs are alive and well.

Update: TechCrunch gives IPartee some pretty good coverage-love today but suggests it needs a “Facebook app and an OpenSocial app because nobody wants to recreate their social network just to do one thing.”

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  • Stuart MacDonald

    I wish them well. Knowing a wee bit about the inner workings of the Citysearch/Evite world via past IACI involvement, I can tell you it’s a tough way to make money. Not to say it isn’t “cool” or can’t be done better, but…