Virgin StartUp of the week: Auditionist

Actors and other entertainers face a gruelling routine of constant auditions and callbacks, and getting yourself out there can be time-consuming and tiring. Luckily Auditionist are on hand with their exciting disruptive tech, bringing a much-needed dose of modernity to the industry and making the casting process more efficient for entertainers and directors alike. Auditionist worked with our partner Enterprise First to qualify for funding.

We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virgin StartUp each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson?

Richard B in lift

Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does

We act as a platform for actors and entertainers to use as a virtual showreel. People can upload photos and video clips - meaning you’re discoverable all the time, even when you’re not auditioning!

Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?

We’re based online in the cloud from London, but we also work out of London and have global ambitions.

Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?

We aim to provide a great service to actors, casting directors and producers by giving them the latest tech to get in touch and get cast. We have a number of aces up our sleeves but we don’t want to give away too much at the moment!

Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?

Our competitors range from UK incumbent Spotlight, through Casting Call Pro who have recently begun to explore a video option, to the American heavyweights such as Backstage and Casting Networks.

Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?

Our tech’s designed by a former program manager at Microsoft, so it’s top-notch. We also allow actors to tag not only skills but emotions, so they can really feature what makes them stand out as an actor.

Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?

Co-founder Will Crosthwait worked in film in a variety of roles, such assistant producer and assistant director to a writer. The casting process always caused the most difficulty, so Will and Ben set about creating a site that could bring great tech to actors and the industry, connecting them better than ever before.

Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?

We got a £7500 loan from Virgin.

Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?

We’ve used the loan to secure intellectual property (we’ve recently become a registered trademark), get software licenses and access the Department of Business Innovation and Skills Growth Accelerator scheme.

Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?

Our VSU Mentor is Roy Vella, an industry veteran of mobile payment systems and online marketplaces. He currently consults for a number of banks and mentors through a number of accelerators so has a massive amount of experience behind him.

Floor 9 to 10 – What’s your workspace like? Send us a photo from your phone

We both work from home but we’re using the Growth Accelerator Access to Finance course to raise a seed round in January 2015, which we’ll use to establish a Soho HQ.

Floor 10 to 11 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

We hope to be connecting loads of great actors with top casting directors and producers in the UK and beyond. We have some big surprises in store and we can’t wait to share them with you!

To connect with Auditionist check out their website, or connect on Facebook and Twitter.