Q&A Wednesday :: Better Than The Van

bttvToday’s Q&A Wednesday is with Todd Hansen, one of the founders of Better Than The Van.

Give us the elevator pitch for your company?
Better Than The Van connects bands with free places to stay across the US, Canada and Europe. By hosting bands you support live music in your community and directly connect with the artists. Bands can save money, meet other bands and make valuable local contacts that can evolve into new or expanded fan-bases in those cities.

How did the company get started? Who had the idea?
I had the idea about a year ago after realizing I wanted to take a break from playing and touring in bands. I was really struggling with what to do next and this seemed like a natural progression. Scott Miller and I have been bootstrapping the company ever since, although if we could find the right capital partner, we would be interested in that.

What was your first indication that you really had something interesting here?
It was during the first publicity push that I did by myself. I landed a piece on Wired’s – Listening Post and from there NY Times, USA Today, Independent UK, Mashable all picked it up. The national attention really pushed early site sign ups and created solid momentum that’s carried us this far. Traffic is steady as are new user sign ups. It’s great!

How has customer adoption been so far?
We started with a very simple concept and as the site grows we listen to what the user-base wants from the site. As long as we continue to meet their needs, they’ll stick with us. Many of the site users are also a part of our Street Team who promote and organize BTTV events in their cities.

What can we expect to see in the future from your company?
We will continue to grow and listen to our users needs. We are rolling out some functionality and UI changes in about month. Spring of 2010 we will roll out a subscription-based service targeting music festivals, record labels, bookers, managers, and promoters.

About Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.