After a stint at virtual events, Happied enters the Minnesota Twins Accelerator

After 18 difficult months for the food and beverage industries, the event technology startup happy makes a new appearance in entertainment for DC professionals.

What started as an app connecting DC professionals with happy hour, CEOs Avril Johnson said, has now pivoted to planning online events for businesses in the wake of the pandemic. With mail order kits for activities like cocktail making and cookie decorating, the company now specializes in events for virtual and hybrid teams.

So far he has worked with over 100 clients including Google, American Express and Match.com, as well as businesses in the DC area.

Further supporting this model, the two-year-old company has just been announced as one of the top 10 participants in the 2021 Minnesota Twins Accelerator by the giant of startup accelerators Techstars.

In conjunction with the Minnesota Twins, the Minneapolis Major League Baseball team, the Accelerator focuses on sports, media and entertainment technologies. The accelerator, Johnson told Technical.ly, fits perfectly with the startup’s new focus on event planning, including in the world of sports.

“[The accelerator is] really focused on the intersection of sports and entertainment, which is perfect for us because we’re all about experience and entertainment, ”Johnson said. “It also gives us the opportunity to dive into the sports industry, in terms of bringing the sports experience to people around the world.”

April Johnson. (Courtesy photo)

With the new management, Johnson said Happied is in the process of rebuilding their system. Currently he is building a new database via Rubies on rails. The company hasn’t raised since its inception in 2019, but with the accelerator it said the team will seek funding of $ 1-3 million in the coming months. While the original app still exists in the App Store, with its B2B shift, Happied won’t have a public app for its new services.

The shift to event planning and participation in Techstars follows a period of new avenues in entertainment technology. In a statement, Techstars said it created the accelerator because of the huge growth in the sports and entertainment industry, which it said “may be the fastest growing industry on the planet.” With changing content types and consumption patterns, along with increased access to data, Techstars said now is the time to innovate and disrupt – traits that the selected founders possess.

Johnson said there are “so many companies out there that really focus on the fact that entertainment isn’t location specific, experiences aren’t location specific and just broadens that audience for you. can enjoy entertainment from anywhere “.

Thanks to the accelerator, participants will take part in a mentoring program with the Techstars network. They will also have the chance to connect with the Twin Cities startup community, the Minnesota Twins team, and parent company businesses. Pohlad. According to Techstars, mentors will help with business innovation, industry access and connections around the world. Johnson and other founders will showcase their companies at a demo day on February 15.

After the accelerator, Johnson said she has no plans to revisit the original Happied app. At the moment she said that she and co-founder Sharon Cao have found a new passion for connecting in events. After graduating from Techstars, they plan to bring in-person event planning to DC with their technology in 2022.

“Seeing people come and being able to connect with coworkers, clients and just seeing their spirits lift their spirits is what makes us happy,” Johnson said. “We love it, it’s hard work, but… every time you see a different group come together and show them the power of the experience, that’s what keeps us going. “

Here are the other members of this year’s cohort and their hometowns:

  • AWSM Sauce, West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Beyond the ranking, Indianapolis
  • EDGE Sound Research, Los Angeles
  • Know, New York, New York
  • LeagueOS, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Local sports network, Austin, Texas
  • Node, Toronto, California
  • OneScreen.ai, Boston
  • SoleSafe, Saint-Paul, Minnesota

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