This Nashville Startup Helps Tour Managers Sleep at Night
By Lee Rennick
Is anyone surprised that Nashville entrepreneurs are at the forefront of the intersections between technology and music?
In 2010, Brittany Wegusen, the founder and CEO of Kalatech, saw the need for a cloud-based management system for the music industry as she worked with clients at DevDigital, where she is also the Director of Operations. As she addressed different issues brought forward by music industry clients in booking, publishing and tour management, she saw a common thread that provided an opportunity to scale the products she was developing for greater industry use.
After receiving positive feedback from top clients who participated in the initial beta testing, Booking Agency Pro, Publishing Pro and Tour Pro were born in 2014. The system was launched with 40 clients, and they currently have more than 130 clients, with expanding usage every day.
“It began with one client coming to us with the issue of keeping up with [talent] contracts and crews in real time,” Wegusen said. “Then a publisher came to us after the flood in Nashville worried about losing his catalogue of music if something like that happened again. He wanted to develop a cloud-based storage option.”
According to Gwen Gude, Vice President of Kalatech, “Booking Agency Pro provides a solution for booking agencies of all sizes to manage artists. The program encompasses all aspects of the booking cycle.”
“Publishing Pro is a pitching tool for publishers to track their catalog with the ease of one application,” Gude explained. “Once songs are in the catalog, publishers can manage a song’s administrative information and ownership of the song.”
“[Tour Pro] provides road managers and crew the ability to manage their artist’s tour anytime, anywhere,” Gude added. “This tour management software lets managers enter all information related to shows, rehearsals, travel, appearances and bus calls to help coordination.”
Gude was added to the company in 2016 when Wegusen had a child. Unsurprisingly, they found each other with the help of technology. Gude had been working in banking but wanted to apply her skills to the music industry, and used Young Entertainment Professionals to explore her options to find something where she could help people.
Under the watchful eye of both women, the business continues to grow as more music professionals learn about the system, and Kalatech continues to update in response to client demand and industry changes.
— kalatech (@heykalatech) December 1, 2016
What makes the program so unique is that it can be applied to so many different needs—from those of a small entrepreneur to a large multi-national company. Plus, it saves time.
“We had one client who was up all hours of the night tracking shows and keeping up with sales as shows ended at different times all over the world,” said Wegusen. “I saw his wife at a party after he began using Tour Pro. She said that he was finally getting much-needed sleep. And her sleep was no longer being interrupted. They were both healthier and happier people thanks to the system.”
In the future, Wegusen and Gude see Kalatech continuing to expand both their domestic and international presence. The services are currently in 35 states and five countries.
What a wonderful week! Here are some pictures from the British Invasion listening night! pic.twitter.com/n08g0L3bBz
— kalatech (@heykalatech) September 26, 2016
“The products are so adaptable,” said Gude. “We see them as tools for [everything from] universities to large corporations. We [also] anticipate partnering with other local music tech companies.”
Their a-list clients include Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, ARM Entertainment, Curb Music Publishing and many more.
Wegusen has a degree in marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She came to DevDigital with a background in the retail industry doing inventory analysis for Abercrombie & Fitch. She was a part of a cross-functional team that communicated business issues, risks and opportunities to maximize productivity and profitability.
Gude graduated with a degree in psychology and business administration from the University of Southern Indiana.
The Kalatech name was chosen to honor their overseas employees, as “kala” means “art” in the Indian dialect used in Vadodora, Gujarat, India where they live and work.
To learn about even more innovative women working at the intersection of technology and music, read about Nashville’s EVAMore.