Painting by numbers

The 2019 edition of IBTM World in Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via featured a new stage, focused on cutting-edge event tech startups.

The IBTM Accelerator stage was home to pitches from a series of small businesses over the course of two days, with a panel of judges eventually deciding on a winner. They received a giant cheque worth €5,000, as well as the mentorship and experience of one of the judges.

In the ‘graduation’ ceremony, it was Canvas Planner who came out on top – a business which provides online planning software in a highly visual, easily readable form. The business was set up in 2017 by sisters Jane Houlind Ulsøe (pictured below) and Nanna Ulsøe, as a reaction to the surplus of spreadsheets and emails which the pair saw being used in the event planning process.

jhu“Canvas Planner is designed for a world that has grown used to visual media – the kind we experience every day in our online social lives,” says Jane Houlind Ulsøe. “This is what sets us apart from the market. We are delivering a platform that is as simple to use as possible.”

“When you organise an event, you have a lot of stakeholders, a lot of information. If you need to pass that information on, you waste a lot of time on emails. 

“With Canvas Planner, if a team or a third party needs to jump into a new event, they can quickly understand how it works.”

The streamlined nature of the platform clearly appealed to the IBTM Accelerator judges, who awarded them the victory. But beyond the money, Ulsøe says that the exposure they received at IBTM World was hugely beneficial: “Winning on the Accelerate stage validated what we are trying to do, and of course the money was nice. We can use that for our sales strategy and marketing.”

So, what next for Canvas Planner? “Together with Jason Allan Scott, our new mentor, we will go and spread our vision as far as we can. We will go out and showcase Canvas Planner to as many people as possible.”