Ticket to ride Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2008

TicketsNow was literally a college dorm room idea that Mike Domek turned into reality when he left school and scraped up $100 — the minimum needed to open a business checking account — to start the company in 1992.

Domek spent seven years operating offline, during which time he earned enough money through operations to build and launch a Web site.

The idea for the business came from Domek’s personal passion for live entertainment. He saw that the event ticket was the gateway to those unforgettable experiences. In 1992, he saw a huge marketplace but no industry. The market was inefficient and insecure. His business model added the element of security but was still inefficient, which spawned the idea for a comprehensive database to secure sellers’ inventory combined with an e-commerce platform. The result was TicketsNow.

When building a company by bootstrapping it, one big mistake can put you instantly out of business. Everything has to be evaluated thoroughly and focused completely on return on investment. That culture still remains with the company today.

Domek’s greatest obstacle was learning how to grow and manage a business from the ground up, especially with the number of employees constantly changing. Managing a company with no prior experience that grew 1,600 percent from 2000 to 2007 was the most challenging obstacle along the way.

In 2008, the success of the company attracted the attention of Ticketmaster, and the company was sold as a result.

HOW TO REACH: TicketsNow, www.ticketsnow.com