Paint Nite

Winner Tag

Location: Somerville, MA
Founded: 2012
Industry: Entertainment

Paint Nite

Dan Hermann and Sean McGrail


After spending an evening sipping wine and creating their own personal masterpieces at a friend’s birthday party, Paint Nite co-founders Dan Hermann and Sean McGrail decided the concept just might have legs. They started by creating a venue program that helped bar owners put unused space to work, and a licensing model that empowered local artists. Paint Nite’s first event sold out, with 50 participants. Today, the company hosts about 5,000 events in more than 1,600 different cities, with more than 170,000 participants worldwide each month. With a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, attendees are invited to unplug, relax and create a personalized piece of art.

Quick Tip “Great leaders take care of their followers.”

Though Paint Nite’s concept takes advantage of the idea of unplugging from things like cellphones and social media, without them, the company couldn’t survive. Thanks to high-resolution cell phone cameras, and apps like Instagram and Facebook, proud new artists can share their experience with their online networks, introducing new people to the concept behind Paint Nite. Hermann and McGrail say social sharing has allowed their company to grow virally, reaching across five countries in just three years. Operating at the intersection of the new “experience economy” and the “creative entrepreneur” movement, Hermann and McGrail hope to keep bringing people together to get creative, for years to come.