By Riley Kaminer
Organizing a party can be a hassle. Finding vendors, keeping track of what they are supposed to deliver, and managing payments can give hosts a headache even in the best of times.
New Miami startup Pressy aims to take the stress out of the party planning process. Through their platform, users can book creative experiences from local businesses, communicate with vendors, and pay and track everything along the way – all in one central location.
First, users can check out look-books to get inspiration for their party. When a user finds a service that interests them, they can book instantly. Then users can pay for and coordinate the experience with the vendor directly via Pressy. The startup takes a transaction fee from the host for the convenience of leveraging Pressy’s platform.
Founder Erdina Francillon has spent 10 years in the tech industry, half at Intel and half at Microsoft. As part of her roles in corporate events and partnerships, she experienced the organizational struggle firsthand.
“Some people have the budget to have an event planner on staff or hired for every event, but most of us don’t,” she told Refresh Miami. “So we wanted to build a product that created a streamlined experience to make it fun to plan an event. Because planning a get together can be very stressful.”
Francillon came up with the idea for Pressy in 2021 and started building the prototype in 2022. She spent a significant amount of time speaking with potential users early on, interviewing 100 vendors across the country and undertaking focus groups.
There were 20 vendors and around 50 organizers using Pressy’s original prototype. The Pressy team is currently working to relaunch with a new app that includes 100 vendors in each of the first three cities it will activate: Miami, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.
“We want Pressy to be the place where people turn to for celebrations and for inspiration, just like a best friend,” said Francillon. She noted that users can expect to pay $500 and up to organize a celebration with Pressy vendors.
Pressy is currently raising a $500,000 pre-seed round. So far, the startup has secured $30,000 from the Black Ambition Fund – Pressy was a finalist for the Black Ambition Prize – and a recent pitch competition put on by eMerge Americas and Venture Miami, where Francillon was the top winner.
“We’re at an inflection point,” said Francillon. “This is just the beginning.”
After having grown up in Miami, Francillon eventually left to attend Notre Dame. “It was always my dream to come back to Miami, but I didn’t see career opportunities for someone who looked like me.” Her job at Microsoft enabled Francillon to return to Miami in 2015, and she completed her MBA at the University of Miami.
“I hope Pressy is impactful and helps put Miami on the map as a tech giant.”
Follow Pressy’s official launch date on Instagram at @pressynow.
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