Entrepreneur

Why industry icons should collaborate with startups to foster innovation

NAB Sprockit Image - VB Post #1

This sponsored post is produced by SPROCKIT.

New startups, competitions, accelerators, and incubators pop up nearly every day aiming to reinvent everything. The media and entertainment industry is no exception. The question is: How can startups stand out amid all of the noise and forge real change?

Enter SPROCKIT, a year-round program now in its second year. It aims to shine a spotlight on the most disruptive startups and help them collaborate with leaders in the industry. It is not an incubator, an accelerator, or a competition. It’s an invitation-only trusted community of elite startups and iconic companies.

The media and entertainment industry has experienced rapid change in recent years. The ways consumers can find and experience content is endless, making it challenging for companies to navigate the ever-changing landscape. We at SPROCKIT believe that to further the industry as a whole, today’s icons and tomorrow’s leaders need to work in concert. By focusing on fostering relationships between entrepreneurs and established executives, we can better address challenges and find workable solutions to problems facing the industry today.

That is why SPROCKIT is driven by the larger media and entertainment industry and kicks off at NAB Show, the largest convention for those who create, manage, and distribute entertainment on all media platforms. It’s April 5 to April 10 in Las Vegas. SPROCKIT helps companies who are poised to reinvent the market stand just as tall as the conglomerates by introducing them as VIPs to leaders in the industry.

So who are these “disruptive” startups? The first 10 invited to participate in SPROCKIT 2014 include:

  • AudioAir enhances the entertainment experience for patrons of sports bars, restaurants, or other establishments with muted TV screens by allowing users to listen, watch, and interact with the TV through their mobile device.
  • Cognitive Networks is a provider of real-time services that power Enhanced TV on Smart TVs, enabling viewers to receive increased engagement and interactions with content through their Smart TV.
  • ExciteM’s self-serve platform enables broadcast stations to create custom interactive mobile and social experiences for their audiences in real time.
  • theloop is a social marketplace website, enabling individuals and brands to showcase and deliver services as well as monetize their online content.
  • MAZ is a mobile publishing platform that empowers brands to create better user experiences by transforming their media properties into “mini” social networks.
  • Penthera is a provider of intelligent portable video software solutions for TV networks and content distributors.
  • ShareRocket is a social media ratings and audience solution that helps media companies and broadcasters measure their social media equity, benchmark against peers, and turn that social market intelligence into actionable insights to drive success.
  • Tomorrowish is a social media DVR that syncs and curates a live social media TV experience for viewers where they can participate in real-time conversations about a show whether it’s live or after it’s already aired.
  • Wayin provides real-time intelligence into how viewers engage with TV programming and gives producers creative freedom to easily display social content within their own broadcast production workflow.
  • WebTuner brings broadband to television, and with its next-generation hardware, innovative content guide, and addressable and interactive advertising platform, it creates a unique consumer experience advancing industry growth and creativity.

And how is this initiative being “driven” by the industry?

Leading media companies including Cox Media Group, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Tribune Broadcasting, and Univision have joined SPROCKIT as founding corporate members and engaged executives to work alongside startups. Other collaborators include: Convergent Wealth Advisors, Angel Capital Association, National Science Foundation, Interactive Television Alliance, InfoDev, Springboard Enterprises, New Vantage Group, Boston Consulting Group, Ernst & Young, and SmithGeiger, and the list goes on.

Leaders from these organizations will lend their expertise to the program and guide discussions for bringing new products, services, and revenue models to market. They too recognize that to stay ahead of the curve, innovators – whether they are emerging entrepreneurs or industry luminaries – need to work together.

SPROCKIT is a model for any industry. It goes beyond the concept of an accelerator or incubator, and instead, fosters a community and creates a platform to help media and entertainment thrive.


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