Archive for January 23rd, 2007

Keiretsu Forum Presenter – BiggyTV

Being interested in what new products, services and companies are being developed in Southern California, I generally attend the monthly meeting of the San Diego Chapter of Keiretsu Forum. If you are not familiar with the group, click on the hotlink and read a little about them. One of their differentiators is their North American footprint. Also, Southern California Chapters in San Diego, Orange County, LA, and Westlake Village are under a common leadership team, which adds to the variety of companies one gets to see. Each month, 4-6 companies get to present their opportunity to the local membership.

We are seeing more entertainment related opportunities, which probably is the result of the close relationship with the LA area chapters. One such company, BiggyTVpresented last week. When you’ve had a pretty fixed diet of high tech/telecom/life sciences start-ups over a four year period, I find it pleasantly interesting to listen about some new area.

As described by Kyle Borg, the President/CEO, “BiggyTV is a B2B global digital video distribution and syndication service that includes B2C elements.” They are using a somewhat creative revenue sharing model. Somewhat like Amazon’s Partner program, a business can subscribe to BiggyTV and have a player they place on their web site. Whenever someone clicks to watch a program, Biggy shares the ad revenue.

Although I think Mr. Borg needs to take a closer look at his competition, I think he is in the forefront of a nascent industry where video and television is moving from the traditional analogue broadcast medium to the digital Internet. He is also looking hard at demographics and signing up some interesting content that I know people will pay for.

One he mentioned is Soap Opera’s and how they will re-purpose content so that a follower of Luke and Lara, I think these are characters on All My Children, can see a program that combines just their parts of the series over a period of years. I know there are a lot of people who diligently follow the Soaps along with certain characters. So, I think that Biggy is on to something.

As I said above, they do need to upgrade their competitive intelligence. He only mentioned one company, Brightcove, as a competitor and I know there are more. As a matter of fact, the current issue of Wired Magazine has an article about Internet TV and some entrepreneurs who have disinter-mediated other technologies who are now in the space. There is a chart that list Brightcove and nine other companies. Still, ten players in a new, nascent industry, there’s plenty of room.

I hope they are able to get out and get established before guys likeJoost get better established. I am looking forward to the advances being created in video and Internet TV. I think the Infotainment Industry is the next New New Thing and can’t wait until I can get first run movies pumped into my house and don’t have to worry about dealing with the Simpson Family next to me in the theater talking, answering the cell phone and disciplining their kids. It doesn’t happen often, but enough that I think about it when I am waiting for the movie to start.

If you haven’t looked at what’s going on with Internet TV, spend some time looking at the companies listed in the Wired article and don’t leave out BiggyTV.

MIT Enterprise Forum Event Tomorrow Evening

There are a few new companies focusing on providing applications and services targeted at the mobile (wireless cell phone) user. One is a 2+ year old company, Intercasting Corp.,¬†who is using Web 2.0 social networking tools to build a community under the name Rabbletargeted at a 13 to 24 year old market segment. Tomorrow evening, Derrick Oien, President and Co-Founder will be discussing their Rabble application with a seasoned panel and looking for some advice on building a brand when the end user is controlled the wireless carriers. He is also looking for advice on how to plan better without having access to the cellular company’s handset roadmap.

Most companies building social networks are focused on building their brands by adding users and focusing on the community. However, Derrick says that this is a primary difference between Internet based companies versus wireless based companies. Another primary difference is that companies building things on the Internet believe that things should be free to the end user, while everything costs on the mobile phone network.

We also know that wireless carriers differentiate themselves by the handsets they offer. Take Cingular, now AT&T, and their partnership with Apple on the recently announced iPhone where Cingular seems to have a two year exclusivity on the iPhone. Companies like Intercasting need to both constantly upgrade their applications to meet the needs of the users while anticipating what new handsets and capabilities are on the horizon. So, you decide that mobile video is a next big thing, but what protocols will be used by what companies and in what timeframes?

With San Diego being a hub for wireless companies, as well as, companies focused on mobile media applications and services, I am sure that these topics will resonate with a number of local entrepreneurs. If you’re one and want to hear what the experts have to say, attend tomorrow’s event at the Salk Institute, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road. The forum starts with networking at 5:00 followed by the session that ends around 8:00. You can also read more about the event at the MIT Enterprise Forum website.

I hope to see you there.


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