Entrepreneur

Out of the mouths of SPROCKIT startups

NAB Sprockit Image - VB Post #4

This sponsored post is produced by SPROCKIT.

This week at the NAB Show, startup program SPROCKIT is shining a spotlight on entrepreneurs in media and entertainment. Twenty-seven companies are meeting with leading media companies to share ideas, explore solutions to sector challenges, and discuss ways to their respective companies can collaborate.

As they take the stage, we wanted to get to know some of the startups better by asking them a few questions about their inspirations, company goals, and leadership styles. Here’s what they had to say:

Be Tweetable: Sum up your company in 140 characters or less

Molly Cernicek, the CEO of SportXast: Never miss a great play at a sporting event again – #SeizethePlay on your smartphone with SportXast.

What’s your company doing or creating that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere? Why is this important?

Anh Le, the cofounder and chief technical officer of Shoelace WirelessWe offer a software-only solution that you can directly deploy on mobile devices to combine wireless networks, both on a single device and across groups of proximal devices. Our solution requires no hardware or infrastructure changes, thus enabling content providers to enjoy the fast speed of network aggregation immediately.

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

Doug Hurt, the cofounder of Clypd: Clypd is a new company founded less than 15 months ago. We are a small but rapidly growing startup playing in the more than $70 billion TV advertising space. SPROCKIT will help us grow by providing exposure to the movers, the shakers, and the decision makers in our industry.

What has been your company’s biggest accomplishment?

Michael Willner, the CEO of Penthera: Our engine is embedded in Comcast’s Xfinity TV Go app, enabling subscribers to download video to phones and tablets.

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

Chris Kraft, the CEO of ShareRocketWe are based in Dallas, and it’s a great environment to launch a company. It’s a city that embraces entrepreneurs and has a rich technology history — from Texas Instruments to EDS to Broadcast.com and more recently, companies like Travelocity and Match.com. Dallas is also home to B2B tech incubator Tech Wildcatters. The result is that there is an enormous wealth of talent in this region and a maverick spirit that really is unique to Texas. I spend most of my time on both coasts, so the central location also really works to our advantage in this phase of our development.

How would you describe your office culture?

Bernee Strom, the cofounder and CEO of WebTuner: WebTuner’s office culture is casual but intense. Our dress is casual. Dogs are welcome (my dog, Chopper, is in the office at least once a week). A game of Ping-Pong may break out at any time. It’s also intense because everyone is focused on make the product the best it can be.

What was the “a-ha!” moment that inspired you to start your company?

Paul Canetti, the founder and CEO of MAZ: The unveiling of the iPad on January 27, 2010. I was an employee at Apple at the time and had also been working as a graphic designer in the publishing industry for years, and immediately I put the two together in my mind. It was just so obvious that there would soon be a real need to get content on the iPad and new devices like it. I set to work on what would become MAZ the very next day.

How do you see the media and entertainment industry changing in the next 3 years?

Kim Wilson, the president and founder of SocialNewsDesk: Newsroom staff is asked to take on more and more responsibility every day. The need will continue to grow for smart technology that enables those journalists to become more efficient as they are asked to take on new tasks all the time.

What are three words your employees would use to describe you?

Adriano Farano, the CEO of Watchup: Italian, dad-preneur, and wannabe chef.

Do you champion and philanthropic or social causes?

Cordell Brown, the cofounder and CEO of AudioAir: The company and its employees support a variety of local causes in the southwest Colorado region, including the Durango Arts Center, La Plata County Search and Rescue, the Durango Discovery Museum, and other local nonprofits.

What three things are we guaranteed to find on your desk?

Nikos Iatropoulos, the cofounder and CEO of LingoSpot: Treadmill controls (I have a treadmill desk), a large water bottle to stay hydrated, and my trusted official Yoda clock to keep me on schedule.

Tell us one little-known fact about you.
Lou Aronson, the CEO and founder for Discourse Analytics: I am the 2009 Bull Run Beer Mile Champion. This is an end-of-season race with my triathlon and marathon buddies that involves beer, hot dogs, and a race around a track.


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