By Jessica Guynn
Los Angeles Times
Julia Hartz, 34, is co-founder and president of Eventbrite, the San Francisco company that has carved out a niche in the multibillion-dollar ticketing industry by focusing on the “democratization” of online ticketing.
It helps anyone — not just major musical acts or sports teams — operate a box office for events.
Eventbrite makes money when event organizers sell tickets — though the cut it takes is below the industry norm. It charges a 2.5% service fee and 99 cents a ticket. (Organizers don’t pay a dime for free events.) Credit card processing fees are 3%.
The concept is clicking. The company Hartz started with her husband, Kevin Hartz, and fellow entrepreneur Renaud Visage is on track to process $1 billion in gross ticket sales this year and has raised $140 million in funding.
Career start in Hollywood: Hartz studied television production at Pepperdine University but realized she did not want to work in the field after interning on the set of “Friends,” TV‘s hottest show at the time. Her big break came in her senior year when she snagged an internship at MTV developing new shows.
Her team was in charge of the pioneering reality-TV series “The Real World” and its spinoff “Road Rules.” It also discovered “Jackass,” which went on to become a major TV and movie franchise. She enjoyed the gig so much, she thought she’d just keep working for free even after graduating from college. Fortunately, her boss hired her.
The pull of Silicon Valley: Hartz was working at FX Networks — which at the time had such hits as “Nip/Tuck,” “The Shield” and “Rescue Me” — when she met her future husband, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor.
Her first boss at MTV was marrying Kevin Hartz’s Stanford classmate. Julia and Kevin Hartz sat next to each other during the wedding ceremony. They managed a San Francisco-L.A. commuter relationship for a while.