Dominic Spillane, of TheaterEngine

Dominic Spillane, of TheaterEngine


LaunchVT 2017 Finalist

Describe your business.

TheaterEngine is a multi-functional online platform for the performing arts industry and its audiences. Built with social media technology, it is a guide to the live theater playing in your area, wherever you are, a comprehensive database of theatrical information, and a professional tool for performing artists.



Tell us about your team - why are you the right people for this venture?

Our team is currently made up of founders Dominic and John Spillane with Burlington, VT based web development firm Hark, Inc. I (Dominic) spent the last 15 years in the performing arts industry. Starting as an actor, I worked in Los Angeles, New York, and various regional theaters, before I began directing, freelance producing, and ultimately taking on a staff position at The Flea Theater in Manhattan. While working as an artist, I was also building basic HTML websites for artists and small theater companies, giving me the ideal background to design and execute this platform. John Spillane is an attorney and real estate developer, and has started, managed, or been partner of numerous successful businesses, and maintains the strategic and administrative backbone of TheaterEngine. Hark Inc. is a full-service web development firm in Burlington, Vermont, that has fully designed and constructed TheaterEngine’s platform.

Why Vermont?

Why anywhere else? What an ideal place to start a technology company! My wife Maren and I moved to Vermont, where Maren grew up, after our daughter Gracelyn was born. We were both previously pursuing artistic careers in New York City. Vermont has an incredible startup business community and technology scene, surrounded by one of the most beautiful natural landscapes anywhere. Individuality, self-sustainability and entrepreneurship seem as much a part of Vermont’s culture as wood stoves and maple trees. It is a great pleasure starting a business here. There is no other place we could imagine being.

Why should you win LaunchVT?

The most immediate and direct beneficiary of TheaterEngine’s success will be Vermont’s performing arts community. Vermont is home to world class artists from many disciplines and over a hundred regularly-producing theater companies, with very limited ability to get the word out about their productions. TheaterEngine would help connect this already vibrant artistic community to the locals and tourists who will help them grow. Ultimately, TheaterEngine is an ideal business for the Vermont economy. As a national, and potentially international platform, TheaterEngine can bring revenue into Vermont from all over the country and the world. As we grow our business, our team will grow as well, helping to further establish Vermont as a leader and destination for technology professionals.