Stoping ticket touting using the blockchain

Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Stoping ticket touting using the blockchain


LAVA was created after 6 individuals from 6 different countries came together and realised they had one common frustration: the inability to go to certain music events due to ticket touting and fraud.

“LAVA stands up to ticket fraud and touting by offering a platform where fans can access, purchase, and share festival tickets through a secure and transparent platform. LAVA does so by applying the Blockchain technology to festival ticket selling and purchasing. Through this, the startup offers 100% guarantee to users that they will not become a victim of ticket fraud, touting, and unwanted booking fees. In addition, LAVA promises to offer paperless tickets that can be accessed through an easy to use digital wallet.”

This was the final result of the last module of the MA in Digital Media Management at Hyper Island. During this module, the students were asked to create their own startup – no brief was presented, so the students had total freedom to work on whatever they wanted.


Since none of our team members had a business idea they would like to explore, we decided to do a hackathon to come up with possible problems worth solving and to get the creative juices flowing. The goal was never to have a brilliant idea in two days but to get rid of the first obvious ideas and to fail as fast as possible, before we focused on something too soon.


Our team name was Tiny Dancers, so instead of a hackathon we had a… hack-a-john!

Indeed, the winning idea wasn’t good enough. After conducting a few interviews with extreme users of our possible solution and creating paper prototypes to externalise it and quickly test it, we found out that the problem wasn’t big enough. In result, our solution was a ‘vitamin’, not a ‘pain-killer’.

After this first iteration, we allowed our thoughts to diverge again and brainstormed emerging trends and technologies and problems these could help solving. This was when blockchain (solution) and ticket touting (problem) came together for the first time.

If you have a background in human-centered or service design you’re probably thinking “What? You found a problem for a solution and not the other way around? *insert scream emoji*”. Yes, that’s true. However, aware of the slight cheating we had done, we didn’t blindly run with it.

We took a step back and mapped the experience of going to a music event, by conducting interviews with music lovers and venues; by experiencing the process ourselves (ok, this was probably just an excuse to do something fun together); and by documenting all this information using journey maps.


Dominic conducting a research interview

Simultaneously, we conducted desk research to learn more about the ticketing industry and the existing players in this space.

This problem validation process left us comfortable that we had found a real problem. Now was the time to develop and validate the solution.

We created two task force units: one was in charge of defining the business model and the other was responsible for creating a minimum valuable product (MVP).

Applying the learnings from the lean startup approach to demand validation, our MVP consisted in a landing page where potential users (festival-goers) could read about LAVA and sign up to ‘join the movement’ to help us stop ticket touting.

We also shared our landing page with potential clients (the event organizers) and validated our value proposition with them.

After various rounds of feedback and iteration, we pitched the idea to potential investors and professionals of the digital industry.


You can find more about the process that got us from having no idea at all to a real business idea here or by getting in touch!

Join the movement!