STARTUP SPOTLIGHTSConnect 2 Media & Entertainment | Online: SPROCKIT Wednesday Schedule

Ten technology startups will enjoy taking part in SPROCKIT, a new program that will put them front-and-center before top industry executives and potential funders.
The startups taking part in SPROCKIT will be meeting this week with C-level executives and the media, as well as with experts who can help them grow their businesses.
The startups are being featured in daily presentations at the SPROCKIT Hub, booth C1362 at the front of the Central Hall. SPROCKIT is a collaboration between World Series of Start-Ups LLC, Springboard Enterprises and NAB. It is sponsored by Convergent Wealth. Digital Media Wire is the media partner.

Today’s lineup includes FlixMaster, NewsiT and SnappyTV. They will present at the SPROCKIT Hub, today, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
This year’s SPROCKIT has laid the foundation of what promises to be an exciting 2014 program. Announced during a press conference yesterday afternoon, SPROCKIT 2014 will be a contest that — like a world series of startups — will narrow down 30 breakaway companies to one and will be judged by a panel of media and entertainment industry executives. Six companies representing each of the five verticals of the content lifecycle — creation, management, commerce, distribution and consumption — will vie for the top spot in their category, partnerships with leading companies and the ultimate championship title.

Based in Boulder, Colo., FlixMaster was founded by video producer Erika Trautman and her husband, game designer Cameron McCaddon. FlixMaster is a cloud-based video editing system that’s designed to provide users with a greater degree of interactivity than other video platforms. FlixMaster’s platform encourages users to create “branching” content and provides detailed tracking of user interactions with customers’ content.

“SPROCKIT’s initiative to highlight emerging technology companies creates a unique opportunity to see the best and brightest in the industry, and we are thrilled to be a part of that,” says Trautman. “We look forward to sharing more about our efforts to create an unparalleled interactive video experience that delivers real ROI.”

NewsiT cofounder/CEO Melinda Wittstock came from a long career in traditional news that included a stint as founder of Capitol News Connection in Washington, D.C.

Today, she says, “we live in a time of info-besity; there’s so much noise, we’re all sugared up and diabetic.” At NewsiT, she’s now attempting to help broadcasters and other content providers sort through the deluge of social media content to identify “what’s accurate, actionable and vital.”

NewsiT uses its own editorial team to cloud-source content and verify it in real time; winnowing out, for instance, important tweets from players and coaches that a TV station’s website can display during a big game.
“If people were going to go to Twitter anyway, why not improve on it?,” said Wittstock. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to show the platform in action in front of thousands of our would-be customers,” Wittstock says of NewsiT’s participation in SPROCKIT.

SnappyTV helps broadcasters efficiently bring their content to social media platforms. Founded by three alumni of Yahoo!, SnappyTV archives broadcasters’ content in the cloud and provides streamlined online editing capability to allow content providers to easily share their content on social media and to allow fans to share clips of programs they’ve been watching. After three years in the startup arena, “we’re doing really well. We’ve got a great product in the market,” says CEO Mike Felgner, Yahoo!’s former general manager of video. “Our customers like us a lot, from Universal Sports to the Pac-12 to CNN to TechCrunch.”

Felgner says SPROCKIT will provide “a presence at NAB Show that’s more than what we could get by ourselves, and exposure into the network that they’re trying to gather of decision-makers and companies that might become customers of ours.”