Startup success is music to the ears of Prysim founder

Prysim founder Taran Croxton at QUTCEA Collider Accelerator 2018.

It was a sense of regret and not the lure of fame or fortune that sparked Taran Croxton’s business idea.

“All I wanted to do when I was younger was travel through Australia and Europe playing guitar but it was just so difficult trying to find where to play and how to book a gig that I never stepped out,” Taran muses.

The former musician recalls with self-deprecating wit the time he was hired, aged 21, to play guitar for a singer in Tokyo.

Keen to pick up extra work, Taran drafted an email enquiring about gig opportunities, used Google Translate to convert it to Japanese and sent it to venues.

“I did not get one response back,” the Sunshine Coast man says.

“I opened the email up, translated it back to English and realised I’d asked venues in Japan if I could perform an execution in their open area!

“That really showed me the difference a language barrier could make but also made me question why that language barrier should prevent a musician from finding a venue and playing music wherever in the world they want.

“I believe that music is a universal language and that music should have no borders.

“You shouldn’t have to start from scratch every time you want to play a new area.”

This idea took hold and drove the creation of Prysim, a single platform connecting musicians, venues, agents and event planners so they can organise, book, manage and pay for live gigs quickly and easily.

Taran started developing the web-based platform almost two years ago but candidly concedes the first year delivered a lot of harsh business lessons.

“Being my first startup, I thought my first step was to find a web developer which was probably four or five steps too far down the line!

“That didn’t end very well — wrong contract in place, a poor agreement, building without a proper plan — and I ended up throwing those first 12 months’ worth of code in the bin.”

Rather than let this setback defeat him, Taran refocused Prysim’s direction, mapped a stronger plan, engaged a new web developer and tweaked his marketing strategy.

With a working prototype in tow, Taran jetted to Hong Kong to attend a tech conference, discovering a wealth of local support when he arrived and capturing the attention of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s Collider Accelerator advisers who encouraged Taran to apply for the 2018 program.

His acceptance into the three-month program for creative tech startups meant mentoring, support and $30,000 in funding towards Prysim’s development.

“Collider has done so much for Prysim but in its absolute essence the quality of mentorship and advice I received was absolutely incredible,” Taran says.

“And, for the first time in my journey as a founder, I was sitting in a room with likeminded people. The relationships I made out of that were incredible and helped me see that I’m not the only crazy person in this world who sees the future differently.”

Prysim is fully operational and connecting independent artists with live music venues, even booking 50 musicians for NamJam, an annual music festival at Nambour in September 2018.

“The most exciting thing that’s happened so far is initiating a partnership with Kawana Shoppingworld and injecting music into a venue that wasn’t there before.

“Instead of just making the process easier for existing musicians and venues, Prysim is actually creating opportunities as well.”

The future looks bright for Prysim, a finalist in the 2018 Sunshine Coast Business Awards, with Taran outlining ambitious plans.

“By the end of 2019, I want Prysim to be utilised throughout Queensland and start to push into interstate venues.

“Ultimately, we want to be international. We want to provide artists with the opportunity to come into Australia with a very fast research and application process and also allow Australian artists to export their music with the same efficiency and consistency.”

Learn more about Prysim at: www.prysim.com

Register your interest for the 2019 CEA Collider Accelerator Program at: www.qutcea.com/collider