Pittsburgh-based startup ShowClix masters the ticketing biz | Local Beat | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Pittsburgh-based startup ShowClix masters the ticketing biz

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Lynsie Camuso has worked elsewhere -- booking talent for The Rosie O'Donnell Show, doing PR for big-name rockers in Los Angeles -- but a few years ago, the Pittsburgh native just had to come back home.

"I have the Pittsburgh disease," Camuso says. "I can never stay away for more than a couple of years." 

As co-founder of ShowClix, Camuso has a good reason to stick around. The web-based event-ticketing company, which employs 20 in its Shadyside office, now serves promoters, concerts, festivals and other events nationwide, and recently expanded into the Australian market.

The startup, founded in 2007, paired Camuso's passion for music with Beaver County native Josh Dziabiak's web-development skills. Initially an online events database with ticketing options, it's now primarily a ticketing service.

In 2008, ShowClix rolled out tickets that can be sent to a customer's phone by text message and scanned at the event site. It was a bit ahead of its time.

"We were the first to do the mobile ticketing, but people weren't quite ready for it," Camuso says. "But the way we work is that when something's not working, we try something else." 

Now, the company is also developing applications that turn smartphones into ticket scanners. Smaller-scale promoters and those running remote outdoor festivals could benefit from using a gadget they already own as their ticketing device.

"That's what we get excited about," Camuso says -- "innovative solutions." 

The company serves promoters large and small, and does not charge them to use the service. And fees paid by customers are low -- 7 percent to 15 percent, says Camuso, as opposed to Ticketmaster's 20 percent or more. That's appealing to concertgoer and promoter alike. 

In Pittsburgh, local artists have used ShowClix for their shows, and Joker Productions began using its ticketing last year. This week, for example, several shows spotlighted in City Paper's music section (Hugh Cornwell and The Chapin Sisters, both appearing at Thunderbird Café, and Frightened Rabbit, at Diesel) are available through ShowClix.

And ShowClix makes no bones about its ambitions: "Our dream is to compete with Ticketmaster," asserts Melinda Colaizzi, the company's business-development manager (a former LiveNation employee). Unlike smaller ticketing companies, ShowClix offers both general admission and tiered reserved seating -- which means it's truly poised to compete with the biggest name in the business.

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