Gigzolo Rocks the House

Gigzolo Founder Nathan Meeks 07B pairs raw performing talent with technology to create a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience booking platform.

By Michelle Valigursky

DJ Delro for Gigzolo.

“If you’ve got that X Factor, that raw talent that makes you rise above others, you could be chosen as a Gigzolo artist,” says Nathan Meeks 07B, founder of Gigzolo, a curator-driven talent booking platform for the private events community. “Artists and DJs on our platform are fully vetted, and less than nine percent of artists we preview are chosen by our curation team.”

With a client roster of event planners for names like Target, Airbnb, Kate Spade, VICE, and other major corporations, Gigzolo has carved a niche in the private events industry for delivering entertainment experiences ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.

Nathan Meeks

In the spring Goizueta Business School hosted an entrepreneurial summit for which Nathan Meeks was a featured speaker.

The Idea that Started a National Enterprise

A natural-born vocalist and gospel singer, Meeks performed with Voices of Inner Strength Gospel Choir at Emory while studying finance and Spanish. His career propelled him into the world of high finance, but as an investment banker in sales and trading for Goldman Sachs, he felt somewhat unfulfilled.

“I was riding the cross-town bus from church and ran into a musician friend who was a Julliard-trained trumpeter,” Meeks recalls. “We had a great conversation on how hard it is for a musician to get established. We agreed on three criteria for success: to play with people you wouldn’t mind playing with, play at a place where you wouldn’t mind playing, and have steady work. But success is elusive for too many artists.”

Meeks spent a sleepless night contemplating what kept talented people from being booked. “I asked myself, what if we broadened the pie for people to want and need artists?” he says. “Then I asked, if I needed an artist, where would I go to book one?”

The idea snowballed, and Meeks took a hard look at his own future. “Fast forward on my life to 27. What changes? Maybe different clients, more money, but not much else,” he says. “I saw myself on a career trajectory that would make me stuck in a life I didn’t necessarily want.”

Meeks walked away from his finance career to found Gigzolo, and “I’ve never ever regretted it for half of even one second.”

Fleur Seule

Swing band Fleur Seule is one of the many musical acts available through the Gigzolo platform, ranging from solo artists to ensembles.

Corporate Growth Comes Quickly

“It’s been an absolute ride,” says Meeks of the company he conceptualized in 2012. By 2013 Gigzolo was one of 10 companies accepted (out of more than 1,000 applicants) into the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York. “We learned a ton and honed the business.” By 2015, investors were ready to come on board to help Gigzolo expand and cross mediums.

Success came to the young company quickly, but Meeks paused the focus on revenue growth. He explains, “We deliberately spent two years investing in technology and recalibrating how our model works. Because of these efforts, we have expanded from one city to sixteen cities across the country, and streamlined our curatorial talent acquisition and booking processes.”

Feedback from clients drives Gigzolo’s growth. “Since we all play different roles in the events process, Gigzolo is perfecting an interactive booking system that allows for instant quotes. Once an artist is selected for an experience, clients can discuss logistics and create contracts in real time,” Meeks says. “Clients receive acknowledgements from artists or their management teams, then pay online. Our process and our analytics take the headache out of booking quality talent.”

So who are the artists and DJs? With a behind-the-scenes approach to talent scouting, Gigzolo curators across the country are careful about whom they select to represent. “If you are an artist, we could already be watching your career,” he promises. Though referrals are considered, “Ninety percent of performers don’t make it past stage two. Our artists are top-notch, and we continue to onboard professionals in the music, dance, film, photo, culinary worlds and more. Thanks to our talent, we just get better all the time.”

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