The leadership team that’s innovating the suite life
Denver-based SuiteHop takes a fresh approach to bring efficiency and transparency to luxury entertainment
Luxurious seating, mouthwatering food, and a full bar. No, it’s not your favorite post-work watering hole, there’s a ball game going outside with a breathtaking view of the stadium and batting practice is underway on the field. Denver-based startup SuiteHop calls this experience the Suite Life.
SuiteHop serves as an experience concierge to help consumers navigate the ins and outs of suites, helping bring suite availability, details and pricing online for the first time.
We sat down with the SuiteHop leadership team to learn how their histories will contribute to SuiteHop’s growth and their plans for turning the luxury seating market upside down.
SuiteHop’s Sweet Leadership Team
(In order from left to right as they appear)
MICHEAL MCCARTHY | PRESIDENT
Michael McCarthy took on the role of president of SuiteHop in October, 2016. He comes from a background of helping companies in scaleup mode overcome obstacles encountered in forging a successful business. McCarthy is a dedicated Chicago Cubs fans and oversaw the implementation of a Wrigley Field ivy replica in SuiteHop’s downtown Denver office.
What is the difference between scaleup mode and startup mode?
Scaleup mode classifies companies that have found markets and are beyond just getting off the ground. These companies need growth catalysts and processes. They might also need funding at another level, typically in the form of series B funding. I’ve always loved helping companies get over those obstacles.
What advice would you give to a business owner trying to get past the growth mode hump?
First and foremost, have patience. It’s so easy for companies in scaleup mode to be moving so fast they don’t take the time to build infrastructure and I believe that’s why a high percentage of those companies don’t make it. You need a vision for the company that includes a core focus and core values. That’s why we’ve spent time creating and defining the SuiteHop way.
What is the SuiteHop Way?
SuiteHop exists to create memorable live in-suite experience for folks. In order to do that we have to have the right team members that understand our vision and want to work to create that and we have to have the capability to execute on it. We want to be a standard of quality that mirrors our vision of providing that experience for our customers.
TODD LINDENBAUM | CEO
CEO Todd Lindenbaum broke into the sports industry selling season tickets for the San Francisco Giants in 2000. He spent five years with the team before launching a membership-based suite-use model and the foundation for SuiteHop. As CEO, he is using his over 17 years of experience in the ticketing industry to make big changes to the suite market.
When did you first observe there was a problem how sporting events are utilized for business?
When I was selling season tickets, the number one objection customers would have was “It’s too many games, I can’t use them all.” Particularly with baseball, you could have nine consecutive game nights.
Why did you transition your focus to the suite market in particular?
With suites the problem is magnified because instead of having four season tickets it’s 16-30 seats to fill for each event. People want more flexibility in how they access suites. As a result, there are lots of empty suites at events and we are showing businesses and consumers how to secure them. Suites are the most valuable piece of a $30 billion ticket industry and we have the opportunity to fundamentally shift how people are buying them.
While diving further into the suite market, what’s one thing that has surprised you?
It’s surprising how much latent demand is out there. The people that are buying suites for parties are finding us through search. That says to me if people are out there searching to find it, if we expose the message that this is actually available to them, there is a ton of untapped demand we could reach.
LLOYD STARR | CTO
Lloyd Starr joined the SuiteHop team in December 2017 as CTO and is leading the companies technology roadmap. Starr was one of the first software developers at Beatport, and eventually climbed to the COO and president position with the company. He is using his relevant background in the music industry to shape SuiteHop as a crucial player in the live event industry.
Your background is in the music industry. What has it been like familiarizing yourself with the sports industry?
Growing up, all of my friends and I were sports fanatics. It’s always been part of my DNA so it’s great to reconnect with my roots. It’s exciting to know what I did with the music industry is happening in sports and I was eager to bring my background and knowledge to help this industry innovate faster.
What makes SuiteHop unique?
I think it’s the market that’s unique. This market reminds me of where the music industry was when it was transforming from physical to digital. What makes SuiteHop unique is our ability to more directly connect owners and teams with qualified buyers. Our product roadmap puts owners in control of their assets and buyers in a position to find the right experience for them. Everyone wins.
As you look ahead, what technology are you most excited about introducing to the market?
I’m excited about what’s going on with artificial intelligence and chatbots. I see an opportunity for SuiteHop to be the concierge that is with you the entire event and makes things smooth and easy without having to always call and talk to someone if you have a quick question. To guide you through finding the right experience for our customers through finding their parking spot and capturing the memories they created for everyone at the event.