Women 2.0 interviews Talia Mashiach, founder of Eved, an event commerce company.
Read the interview below and then check out our other story on Talia and view the full Trep Life episode here.
W2: What were some of the factors that led you to become an entrepreneur?
TM: I have always loved business, and I have been starting small businesses since I was a kid. I actually just went through a box at my parents' house and found an assignment I did in seventh grade. I had written in my paper that I wanted to be a business executive. Entrepreneurship allows me to have the flexibility to build my career around my life and build my own journey.
W2: How has your past experience gotten you to where you are now?
TM: I think sometimes people look at a successful person and think they got there so fast and that it was easy. It is never easy. Overcoming big challenges is what prepares you for your next stage of growth. I have had so many different challenges to overcome. I have learned so much from everything I have done, and there is not one single challenge I could have skipped in order to gain the experience I have today.
W2: What problem did you see in the market that inspired you to start your company?
TM: I was very surprised that $650B+ is spent by large corporations that were so advanced in so many ways, but still ordering and paying for their event services the same way they have been for 25 years. I love solving big problems, and I love taking a manual complex process and simplifying it with technology. This was a great space to do it in.
W2: What type of customers do you serve?
TM: Eved helps corporations manage and pay their bills for event services. The companies with the largest spend on events are the Fortune 100 tech, pharma and professional services companies like Dell and Lilly. They pay their suppliers over our EvedPay digital payment network, so thousands of suppliers from hotels to transportation companies have merchant accounts on our platform.
W2: Why is your solution uniquely positioned to address their problem?
TM: Events are a major marketing channel for large corporations, and they have certain attributes that are very different than the typical spend category. Events have many suppliers that are often used only one time and are located all around the globe. There are different types of people planning events from professional planners to admins. The most challenging part is paying these suppliers. The credit card is an old, outdated method that creates many challenges. Eved is really disrupting the way you can pay for events by combining state-of-the-art software with a digital payment network. Eved is Spend Management for events - All Payments, All Users, All Data. That is what companies need.
W2: Being an entrepreneur isn't easy. What's the biggest challenge your company has faced so far and how did you handle it as a company and as a leader?
TM: When many companies start, they first go after smaller clients and then build up to the large corporations. Eved needed to start with the large corporations since they have the most spend and will drive the marketplace. Selling into these large corporations is very challenging and time consuming, and delivering a product that works for them is also much harder than with smaller companies. I am really proud of us. It has taken longer and it is much harder, but we are really making progress.
W2: What resources have been especially helpful to you as you’ve built your company?
I have been so fortunate to have amazing people around me. I seek advice and listen to people who have experienced this journey before so that I can learn from them and not repeat the same mistakes. My investors, board members, advisors and mentors are truly invaluable.
W2: Based on your experience, what’s the biggest takeaway you can give to other Founders?
It is all about the people you hire. You cannot build a company on your own. The better your people are the more successful you will be and the faster you will achieve your goal. It is not simple to figure this out, and it takes time. I would spend a lot of time thinking about the kinds of people who will fit into your company, what their skill sets need to be, your expectations of them and what success looks like for each hire after 90 days and after 1 year. Make that really clear when you are interviewing.
W2: What’s next for you and your company and where do you need help or support?
TM: We need to keep bringing more companies onto Eved to manage and pay their bills for events. The more payments that go through our EvedPay network, the more suppliers open an EvedPay merchant account, then the more the network effect helps everyone. I would love support from procurement leaders and CFO’s for being brave enough to bring disruption to a major spend category. It has been years of my life and $25M in capital to bring innovation to a space that really needs it. Even if Eved is not a fit for their company at the moment, their support would mean so much. I would also love to see corporate executive women reaching out more to female entrepreneurs and supporting them in bringing solutions to help their companies.
Trep Life is a video-focused media company that gives a voice to the intrepid. Through original series’, as well as custom branded content, they tell stories about entrepreneurs, artists, risk takers, and purpose-driven people who live life on their own terms.