Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio in partnership with R/GA. This is a new program focused on identifying and developing innovative growth- and early-stage companies with disruptive technologies that will shape the future of digital entertainment and media consumption.
The program, consisting of 8 innovative startups, is well under way and we wanted to catch up with some of the founders to see how things are progressing. For our first participant spotlight, we sat down with ScoreStream's CEO Derrick Oien to talk about the company's background story and experience so far.
What problem is ScoreStream trying to solve and how did you identify this problem?
With the consolidation of the media industry, coverage for local sports has diminished rapidly due to a lack of resources. We felt that we could do for local sports, what Waze did for traffic information. The scale of the local sports ecosystem and the fragmentation of interest seemed like a perfect fit for leveraging crowdsourcing which is a cornerstone of how we have solved this problem.
Tell us how you first came up with the concept for ScoreStream.
We were originally approached about doing a local sports statistics application. After looking at the market we realized that while this direction certainly had potential, there was a bigger opportunity to capture this information and distribute it broadly to local media companies in the television, radio and newspaper realm as well as going directly to consumers.
What drew you to the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio program?
We've always had a relationship with Yahoo, and we knew the sort of interesting things the larger Verizon organization is doing around sports. We saw the program as an opportunity to learn from a large media organization, who is in the same youth-sports content market as us, and further develop synergies with them. There is a lot that we can achieve together and this program puts us front and center with the right business units to make that happen. R/GA obviously brings their huge network of services and relationships too.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received thus far?
We have had some great conversations around how to think about our core audience and how to position our value proposition to brands and agencies. Discussions like these are extremely valuable and will help set us up for success from the start.
What have been the top highlights of the program?
I think the level of engagement from all sides has been really strong. One of the greatest aspects of the program is the hands-on nature with mentors. We've been meeting with decision makers and some of the top business-minded people across the various organizations here.
What aspects of the program do you find most useful for ScoreStream?
For me personally, I've found the most value in the business development and sales perspective of the program. For my product development team, I know they are excited to be working with the design and other product related resources which we are just starting to engage with.
How have your interactions with the other program participants been? What have you learned from them?
They have been really good. It is always fun to hear how different the other companies are, in both business model and product, and I feel that we can be a resource to each other in the near and long term.