Revolutionizing Manhattan nightlife with WeGo’s Adam Grossman

Philosopher Simone de Beauvoir believed that “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”

Writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron said an evening in the city caused her “heart to do a little dance.”  And poet Ezra Pound described city nights resembling “squares after squares of flames.”

While each of these claims accurately describe the energy of a city that rarely sleeps, Founder and CEO of WeGo Adam Grossman argues that there is still work to be done. In fact, he is certain that city nights can only get better and that just maybe, his team has uncovered “the secret sauce” required to completely revolutionize Manhattan nightlife.

WeGo is a platform that operates like an OpenTable for nightclubs by allowing hospitality venues to manage their floor plans and reservation lists.

For example, imagine a young woman reserves a table at a nightclub to celebrate her birthday. Without using a platform like WeGo, this venue cannot gather data about her guests.

“Worst case, the venue gets 5% of the information they should be getting from this booking,” Grossman says. But when individuals invite their guests using WeGo, venues can capture contact information, measure brand loyalty and purchasing power, and determine how customers are influenced by their guests.

The platform is also useful for individuals, as Grossman explains that “the system provides guests assurance that their friends will be welcomed at their choice venue.” And considering the often exclusive nature of Manhattan nightclubs, such attention to customer service lends WeGo a huge value prop.

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A former finance student at Hofstra University, Grossman has a background in banking and has worked for both Credit Suisse and Barclay’s Capital. While in school, Grossman laid the groundwork for his future career in hospitality consulting.

“During college I built a reputation as a go-to promoter in NYC,” he explains. “Then, while at Credit Suisse, I recognized the need for an online event planning solution,” a realization that lead to his 2009 startup,

While developing this site, Grossman made several relevant industry contacts, gained an understanding of venue and customer needs, and recognized how these needs impact venue promoters. However, Grossman soon found that his true passion was hospitality consulting, particularly in bringing the nightlife industry up to speed “in marketing, client relationship management, and venue operations.” Thus, the idea for WeGo was born.

Since launching in 2013, WeGo has been very strategic in how they plan for growth, staying focused on keeping fundraising “lean.” Grossman argues that startups with too many resources often struggle “because they don’t have to generate growth and momentum. We, however, have used our money wisely and as a result, have already reached several of our goals.”

After completing their first round of investments last year, the WeGo team built out their product, attracted high-quality beta testers, and proved their concept’s value for nightclubs and users alike. At last, they worked to create a network of interested venues such as Hotel Chantelle, a well-known spot on the Lower East Side.

The club’s owner Kyle O’Brien had worked with Grossman in the past and after having “demoed every reservation platform under the sun,” it only made sense that he place his business in WeGo’s tech-savvy hands. About a year later, O’Brien already sees a change in his business, particularly in how the club’s check-in system is run.

Hotel Chantelle has completely forgone what O’Brien refers to as the “ancient” practices of paper lists and handwritten check-ins in favor of a new digital model run entirely off of iPads. “WeGo makes clubs smarter,” O’Brien explains. “It’s a platform that helps clubs market themselves and provides the ultimate guest experience for customers.”

So how would Grossman guide aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create the next big thing?

First, capitalize on key industry relationships. Make sure you know all the important players in your space and recognize which relationships will lend value to your brand. Second, be careful with your business model. Success depends heavily upon building an investment plan that is both deliberate and smart. And finally, “Remember that sleep is overrated.” Grossman encourages his team “to work hard, be disruptive, and delete the word ‘try’ from their dictionary.” He believes these are tough, but necessary expectations for a company that aspires to reach such great heights.

“It’s our job to educate on how tech can benefit nightclubs’ businesses,” Grossman says. “WeGo is on a mission to extend the life cycles of these venues and to make Manhattan nightlife completely sustainable.”

Photographs by Lauren Kallen

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