Kristie is Founding Scene Happenings


Welcome to INVANTI Founders' Stories, where Dustin Mix and Maria Gibbs interview INVANTI founders about their backgrounds, how they ended up at INVANTI, what they explored while they were here, and ultimately what venture they have built.

In this fifth episode, Dustin and Maria interview Cohort 2 member Kristie Wickwire. Originally from Athens, Georgie, Kristie moved to South Bend for INVANTI from Saint Louis. She describes herself as an arts enthusiast with a passion for helping creators realize their dreams. Prior to joining us she founded an online multimedia arts publication called Please Hold Magazine, was a co-organizer for the annual St. Louis Small Press Expo, and spearheaded a creative entrepreneurship initiative at Washington University.

Kristie is emerging from this 6-month cohort as the founder of Scene Happenings, a cultural discovery platform that helps people find authentic local experiences in their area and receive personalized event recommendations based on their interests.

Scene Happenings was born out of the recognition that people need more than a job opportunity to love where they live. They need to feel connected to the cultural vibrancy of a city, which relies upon diverse and evolving cultural scenes and opportunities to engage with them.

Although there are people in every city who are innately driven to organize creative opportunities (such as art fairs and music festivals) that drive activity in cultural scenes, it can be difficult for others to discover niche events unless they happen to know the right people. As a result, independent organizers often struggle to sustain their culturally vital projects, while countless residents remain unaware and detached from the wilting scenes that they would have loved to plug into. Scene Happenings addresses this disconnect by identifying local scenes and presenting opportunities to engage with them to the people who help them thrive.

This conversation covers why Kristie chose INVANTI and entrepreneurship, how she discovered the problems that led to Scene Happenings’ solution, and where this new company is going in the next 3-6 months.

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Jacob Titus