Image Source: eventbrite.com
Who: Julia Hartz
Current role: CEO of Eventbrite
Fresh out of Pepperdine University with a degree in television production, Julia saw her future in Hollywood laid out in front of her. She had already worked on the sets of television shows such as Friends and MTV’s Real World, and had a promising future behind the scenes. However when she met her husband Kevin, she was introduced to the innovative and forward-thinking Silicon Valley and was ready to make a career change. It was at this time that she and her husband started EventBrite.
They started EventBrite to ‘democratize’ the ticketing industry. Their service does this by allowing any person, vendor, group, or artist to sell tickets to their live events. Previously this type of public ticketing was only available to big name artists and groups. Success soon followed when they realized they had discovered something that people really wanted. In 2008, EventBrite partnered up with Facebook which rocketed their growth.
Why she’s a game changer:
Since first starting out in tech, Julia has seen the value in a strong company culture. Voted as “Best Places to Work in San Francisco Bay Area” the last five years, Eventbrite has achieved just that. In an interview with Forbes, Julia credits their award-winning company culture to running their company as if it is still a small business, keeping it personable and transparent. Some of the ways they cultivate this culture is by holding weekly “Hearts to Hartz” meetings where the whole company comes together to receive updates and ask questions, unlimited vacation days and the ability to work remotely as needed, and offering services throughout the work day such as massages and acupuncture to provide a relaxing break for their hard working employees.
Julia has also championed a diverse work environment. The Eventbrite staff is 45% women and the executive staff is 50% women, a stark contrast to the rest of the tech industry. This is due in large part to Julia’s efforts to hire both qualified men and women, as well as actively encouraging women to apply for leadership positions. Hartz works to create equal opportunities for women within her company and within the tech industry as a whole. Her hope is to achieve a tech industry that more closely mirrors the public it innovates for.
Julia has received honors and distinctions such as Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 and Inc’s 35 under 35 in 2014.