From Etouches to Aven­tri

Event man­age­ment com­pany looks to the fu­ture with new moniker

The Norwalk Hour - - BUSINESS - By Alexan­der Soule

“This is a very big mo­ment for us as a com­pany. From a hand­ful of cus­tomers, we now have 1,300 cus­tomers in 50 coun­tries. Small as it (was), it started here in Con­necti­cut — you can see how far we’ve come.”

Aven­tri CEO Oni Chukwu

The Norwalk-based event man­age­ment ap­pli­ca­tion com­pany Etouches has adopted the new mon­icker of Aven­tri, with the com­pany hav­ing grown to 700 em­ploy­ees over the course of a decade.

CEO Oni Chukwu un­veiled the re­brand­ing two weeks ago to em­ploy­ees, and to the wider world on Thurs­day. The com­pany pro­vides a range of ap­pli­ca­tions for event plan­ners, from at­tendee en­roll­ment to post-event sur­veys.

Aven­tri has its head­quar­ters in South Norwalk, where it em­ploys about 100 peo­ple. The pre­de­ces­sor com­pany to Etouches was founded in Ridge­field in 1998 by Lenora Valvo and adopted the Etouches name in 2008.

The new name echoes the word “event” with the spell­ing meant to evoke as well “av­enue” for the roads open­ing up for the com­pany and “en­try” for the op­por­tu­nity it gets to rein­tro­duce it­self to the mar­ket un­der the new name.

“This is a very big mo­ment for us as a com­pany,” Chukwu told a crowd of em­ploy­ees on Thurs­day morn­ing out­side the for­mer Brew­house venue that Etouches uses to­day as its head­quar­ters. “From a hand­ful of cus­tomers, we now have 1,300 cus­tomers in 50 coun­tries. Small as it (was), it started here in Con­necti­cut — you can see how far we’ve come.”

Chukwu told Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia on Thurs­day the com­pany is con­sid­er­ing mul­ti­ple pos­si­ble ac­qui­si­tions to add more func­tion­al­ity to its plat­form.

Aven­tri has sev­eral com­peti­tors for a mar­ket Chukwu said repre-

sents $11 bil­lion in pos­si­ble rev­enue, in­clud­ing Tysons Cor­ner, Va.-based Cvent and a num­ber of star­tups that in­clude Swoogo, started by Valvo af­ter she left Etouches and promis­ing a sim­ple and in­tu­itive plat­form for event plan­ning.

On Thurs­day, state Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, pointed out where he and his wife had their wed­ding re­hearsal din­ner, now a mez­za­nine level in the Aven­tri build­ing with work­sta­tions, and said Norwalk has proven time and again its at­trac­tion for tech-sec­tor em­ploy­ers, to in­clude Price­line.com, Fac­tSet and Datto.

“Etouches — now Aven­tri — has been a great cor­po­rate (pres­ence) here in Norwalk,” Duff told Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia. “They grew like crazy.”

Erik Traut­mann / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Etouches CEO Oni Chukwu un­veils the new cor­po­rate brand, Aven­tri, dur­ing an an­nounce­ment live­cast to its of­fices around the world on Thurs­day from the com­pany head­quar­ters in South Norwalk.

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