Meet Cynthia O’Keefe of Underground Overdrive
Tell us about Underground Overdrive
Independent artists and promoters are using a spreadsheet to manage their gig negotiations.
So, we invented a better solution that:
-Allows you to access all your stuff (from all your acts) with one dashboard;
-Includes detailed gig information, checklists and reminders;
-Is mobile-friendly so you can work anywhere;
-And it allows you to share gig details with whomever, whenever
We’re a subscription model with a freemium plan and suite of tools coming in Q4.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
My co-founder and I (my husband Mike). We have experience in both software development and the indie music scene, so we just dug in and kept expanding the foundation to support all the tools necessary to be the one place to go as an independent artist, venue or promoter.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest obstacle is always patience because we are geared to go fast when we are excited about a project! Since we both have full-time jobs, it’s been a labor of love and discipline to get such a solid product ready for market. There’s so much to do to create a viable business, not just an “app”.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Our best advice has come repeatedly from our advisors, “Bootstrap for as long as you can!” and “You don’t want to take VC money… seriously, you don’t NEED it.” We already know this deep down, so it’s been a character-building experience leaning into our own self-reliance. It’s what we’re trying to instill in this product for the artists who are tirelessly working their side hustle – we get it!
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
We love the more laid-backed-ness of rustic New England vs. Silicon Valley. It was tough migrating back home, but raising little kids is better here. Over the last 15 years, we have been grooming a sweet little trail around our property, so now we can run or take a walk whenever we need a break from the above-the-garage startup.
What does the future look like for your company?
We have visions of grandeur, like many startups. It’s what gets you up and moving the thing closer to a goal. But honestly, we have a realistic 5-year plan that includes a ton of features and business partnerships that will serve our mission to make Underground Overdrive another small disrupter in the music industry.
We have also recently started a fundraiser on the iFundWomen platform to help fund the launch of our online booking platform that we are going live with this fall.