Payal Kadakia, Classtivity
Launched: April 2012
What Classtivity does: Classtivity is an online database that enables users to search for any type of class, from yoga to creative writing workshops. Users can search by activity, venue, time, location, price, level of difficulty, instructor, and more. Users can book the class as well. The company earns revenue by charging a fee on those transactions. The database is nationwide, so you can book classes while traveling, too.
How it’s changing the game: Until now, searching for a class went something like this: Google “cooking class midtown nyc.” You get a few results, but none are what you are looking for. You refine the search and try again. Then you click on each link to search for locations, class times, instructors, prices, and more information on the content of the course (such as French vs. Japanese cuisine). Classtivity puts all that information together on one site that allows you to search with ridiculously specific and convenient criteria. Classtivity also incorporates user reviews. As a method of quality control, only people who have actually attended the classes will be able to review or rate.
Founder Kadakia has a diverse background. She graduated from MIT with a bachelor of science in operations research. She went to work at Bain & Company as a general consultant. She went on to a position in business development at Warner Music Group. In 2010, she started the Sa Dance Company, a professional Indian dance company in New York City. It was her dance experience that gave Kadakia an understanding of some of the challenges class venues and instructors have marketing themselves.
“A lot of these small businesses can’t effectively market themselves,” says Kadakia. “Many don’t have the money to put up a website at this point. So we’re trying to give them discoverable real estate on the web, to give them a place to present their work in multimedia. Every time a new person comes to them, it’s great, because they have fixed costs. So, this is incremental revenue for them.”
What’s next: Classtivity launched with beta invitations to the site on April 16th, 2012. They currently offer 30,000 classes a month in New York City, but 500,000 classes nationwide. The next year will be focused on building that database and building subscribers.
Photography by Jill Lotenberg
Daria Meoli is the Executive Editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org