GoghNow for Musicians and Concert Lovers
Chance Smith and Ajalon Elliott have been best friends for over 20 years, ever since they met at a Roanoke basketball camp and realized their common love of music. As kids, they’d spend hours together not only creating music, but searching for artists and learning how certain types of music moved people. This led to the creation of their first business in high school, an entertainment company for Elliott and Smith to provide safe environments for local high school students to socialize with music.
“We’d bring hundreds of our peers together in the Roanoke gym,” Smith says. “We would not only coordinate the event, but DJ and handle the doors. We wanted something for younger people to do in the area.”
They lost touch after going away to college, though ended up with similar educational backgrounds. Both majored in business (Smith at Radford University, Elliott at Wake Forest University), and Smith continued helping musicians even as he studied and played basketball. But, as lifelong friendships are prone to do, the two young men reconnected over the very same thing they originally connected on: music.
“Ajalon called me to share a story of musicians ‘passing the hat’ [a concept of musicians collecting donations from listeners after a show],” Smith says. “Around the same time, I was beginning to enjoy exclusive house parties over bars and clubs. It made us think about several things: musicians being compensated, listeners being able to bring live music to their homes (or wherever they are) and more opportunities for musicians to play outside the normal venues.”
Smith’s wide exposure to the music scene in various capacities gave them insights that would eventually become the basis for GoghNow, expanding the concept of guaranteed “pass the hat” money for musicians to one of endless opportunities for musicians and access to live music for all – even those beyond the traditional live music scene.
With their technical skills, business acumen and marketing ability, Smith and Elliott took it upon themselves to create an app that eventually turned into GoghNow. Born in 2017, after three long years of market research, music studies and creating the just-right app for users, GoghNow is “your personal musician for any scenario at the tap of a button.”
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