LAS VEGAS -- Of all the tech startups with Las Vegas connections, the brief history of online live performance enabler Evinar.com is arguably the most bizarre.
To begin with, its Las Vegas-based co-founder, 2008 Palo Verde High School graduate Evan Savar, has never met his two fellow business partners from Maryland or the company's four other developers, two of whom reside in Pakistan.
He also doesn't have a tech background. When he attends the periodic tech-driven Jelly gatherings downtown, he says, "it's like they speak another language. I don't understand 98 percent of what they're talking about."
More astonishing is how Savar hooked up with Evinar. Earlier this year while surfing the web, he stumbled upon the company name. He was attracted to it because it sounded like his first name combined with the letter R, his middle initial, which stands for Reed. Upon further inquiry, he recommended ways the company could improve its product, one that uses social media outlet Facebook to connect performance artists, athletes and public speakers with a live audience.
The result is a website that on May 1 caught the attention of online social media news service Mashable. In less than three short weeks, the website has picked up roughly 200 clients who have used Evinar's application to conduct live events on their own Facebook pages. So far, roughly 30 percent of those clients have chosen to charge Facebook audience members a fee to watch the programming, a portion of which goes to Evinar.
"I pride myself on bringing people together," Savar said. "I also want to help independent artists succeed."
Savar, a 22-year-old Air Force brat who moved to Las Vegas eight years ago, already had a connection to local performing artists as the host of a weekly event dubbed 1 Crazy Happy Hour at the Rumor hotel on East Harmon Avenue. He used those contacts to get local talents, such as singers Dan Jones and Megan Barker, to test out the Evinar app on their Facebook pages.
Evinar doesn't necessarily threaten live performance venues because fans will still want to see their favorite performers in person. But Evinar allows a fan in Cleveland to see a band that is performing in Las Vegas via Facebook, and even allows that person to post comments the band members will be able to see.
Evan Savar, co-founder of Evinar, speaking about his Vegas Tech start-up at The Emergency Arts Building in Downtown.
Savar says that if a performance is nearing a sellout at a particular venue, the band can instantaneously use Evinar to sell additional tickets to fans who will be able to watch the show on Facebook. Fans can learn about available shows by following their favorite artists' Facebook and Twitter transmissions for concert updates. Fans are also able to notify their friends about shows.
And for good measure, Evinar enables its clients to post clocks on their Facebook pages that provide a countdown until the shows begin.
The potential for Evinar extends far beyond musicians. Poets, lecturers and athletes can use it as well. Earlier this month, Ron Paul presidential campaign adviser Doug Wead, who also was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush, hosted an event with Evinar's help that attracted 10,000 Facebook viewers.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, National Basketball Association player Corey Maggette of the Charlotte Bobcats will be hosting a live event on his Facebook page via Evinar to interview NBA draft prospects Dion Waiters of Syracuse University and Maalik Wayns of Villanova University. Professional poker player Mike Matusow is also planning to give lessons through Evinar in June.
Savar also said Evinar is in discussions with cable television's HBO to possibly help broadcast weigh-ins, training sessions and other content on Facebook to supplement HBO's boxing events.
"We can do everything from politics to cooking classes," Savar said. "The possibilities with the technology are endless."