STARTUP SPOTLIGHTSDigital Media Wire Daily | Spotlight on SPROCKIT: Q&A with FlixMaster, NewsiT and SnappyTV Execs

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest article provided by the NAB Show.]

To wrap up our Q&A series with SPROCKIT participants, we sat down with the founders and CEOs of three featured organizations specializing in content creation – NewsiT, Flixmaster and SnappyTV. They’ve shared with us their excitement for the SPROCKIT program, some of their most inspirational moments and a few little-known facts about themselves (including one CEO earned $100 in one day through her ‘performance art’ business.) SPROCKIT kicks off this weekend at NAB Show, April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

Erika Trautman, Co-Founder & Chairman, FlixMaster Headquarters: Boulder, CO

Flixmaster in Erika’s words:
“FlixMaster makes online video interactive, allowing brands to produce content at scale that is engaging, actionable and that provides ROI.”

What do you hope to gain from SPROCKIT and how do you believe it will help your company to grow?

SPROCKIT’s initiative to highlight emerging technology companies creates a unique opportunity for us to usher in the future of online video, and we are thrilled to be able to take advantage of that opportunity. Joining this impressive lineup of companies allows us to share more about our efforts to create an unparalleled interactive video experience that delivers engagement, action, and true ROI.

What was the impetus or Aha! Moment that inspired you to start your company?

I came from a film production background and Cameron was a video game designer working in online and mobile gaming. We had an idea for an interactive video experience we wanted to build and realized there was no easy way to do that. We would have to hire our own engineers to build an expensive, hand-coded, one-off. And the more we thought about it, the more we realized that the kind of interactivity we wanted to see in our own interactive video was completely fundamental to everything else online. Video was the last medium to adapt to what the web does best. It needed to evolve, and we wanted to drive that evolution.

How does your geographic location influence the work that you do?

Not only is Boulder a uniquely creative and innovative community, but almost every day is sunny and we have a gorgeous view from our windows. So we manage to keep our serotonin up even as we work long hours under deadline. Boulder is the technology world’s best-kept secret.

Melinda Wittstock, Founder &CEO, NewsiT Headquarters: Washington, DC

NewsiT, in Melinda’s words:
“NewsiT crowd-sources content and validates it in real time for relevance and reliability so partners can engage and monetize communities.”

What do you hope to gain from SPROCKIT and how do you believe it will help your company to grow?

More happy customers! We’re keen to show NAB participants how we can help their companies grow, engage and monetize audiences around reliable and relevant content while cutting costs. So, come get the NewsiT demo, and take advantage of our free one-week trial to all NAB companies.

What makes your company particularly innovative?

We’re the antidote to ‘infobesity’. It’s an expensive disease hitting bottom lines in lost revenue and high costs. NewsiT provides a clear signal of what’s relevant, accurate and actionable – and a cost-effective way to identify credible sources and engage and monetize communities. There are many ‘social listening’ and sentiment platforms out there along with all the aggregators and citizen journalism efforts, but how many of these can tell you what content (and source) you can trust in real time, with customizable instant publication and automated user recruitment and reward? That’s what makes NewsiT innovative.

Tell us one little known fact about you.

My grandmother was the first to call me “disruptive” at age 5 with my first revenue. I earned $100 in one day for what could best be described as a ‘performance art’ business. I got my ‘clients’ to pre-pay admission for an open-air dance performance set to music of some sort of hybrid of balletic acrobatics. Made sense at the time!

Mike Folgner, Co-Founder & CEO, SnappyTV Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

SnappyTV, in Mike’s words: “INSTANT BRAND-SPONSORED SOCIAL HIGHLIGHTS – SnappyTV is the leading cloud video editing and social/mobile distribution platform.”

What do you hope to gain from SPROCKIT and how do you believe it will help your company to grow?

SnappyTV would like to gain exposure amongst potential customers at the NAB show and in the Broadcast industry. We also have deep partnerships with companies showcasing products at NAB and would like to leverage the SPROCKIT presence and exposure to tell the industry about the benefits of these partnerships and why SnappyTV should be a key component to any content owner’s strategy.

How do you see the media and entertainment industry changing in the next 5 years?

Brand advertisers won’t buy TV ads in the up-fronts without buying advertising against the real-time highlights people are sharing on social networks and mobile devices while they watch TV. If you’re spending millions of dollars advertising against linear content, why shouldn’t your brand go with these key highlights that everyone was talking about? It’s the unusual situation where everyone benefits: the audience gets real time highlights, brands advertise against engaging content that everyone is talking about and content owners find new revenue and distribution.

What is the biggest milestone your company has reached to date?

We just surpassed 100,000 video highlight clips created in our platform in just two years. The 100,000th clip was from a game in the first round of March Madness.