November 13, 2017

Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio Wraps Up

Ten months ago, we decided to launch a new program that would bring young, innovative startups to work with Verizon on new ideas and innovative concepts in the media space. We wanted to make an investment in each of them, to ensure we were brought into their long-term success and had skin in the game. Senior folks across Verizon, including Oath, participated in the selection of candidates and committed to working on pilots.

We decided to partner with R/GA Ventures to help us run and manage the program as their investment-partnership model was exactly what we were looking for. They helped us build a best-in-class program to help us source, select and manage the startups in the program.

Verizon Ventures and R/GA carefully choose companies based on product innovations that aligned specifically with Verizon’s strategic objectives. The eight companies represent the future of media and content across video creation and consumption, data analytics, eSports, commerce, video delivery performance, machine learning, and personalization.

Over the course of the program, each participating company had the opportunity to work with Verizon Ventures and Verizon’s digital media businesses on product and technology projects. The program also offered access, resources, and support from R/GA’s award-winning strategic marketing, consulting, branding, design, and technology teams. Participants in the Venture Studio were able to leverage Verizon’s and R/GA’s networks of investors, mentors, and global brand leaders from Fortune 100 consumer, enterprise, and technology companies.

Today marks the formal end of the first Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio. While these engagements with Verizon will continue past Nov 9th, the program has created more value to Verizon than we originally envisioned. There are a lot of lessons learned for Verizon and the company will be much better because of it.

Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio by the numbers:

  • Number of applications and companies reviewed: 1,200

  • Number of companies invited to pitch day: 20

  • Number of companies selected for the program: 8

  • Number of Verizon stakeholders involved: 30+

  • Number if R/GA staff involved: 50+

  • Number of pilot engagements and integrations with Verizon: 15

  • Value to Verizon and the startups: priceless  

The relationships formed between the participants, founders, product and technical staff will continue long past today. Thank you to everyone that participated, especially the startups, Verizon and R/GA staff.

The companies include:

  • Ad Lightning helps publishers and ad exchanges identify bad ads and track them to the source—helping them see their inventory more clearly.  

  • Cognitive3D helps brands understand their customers by visualizing perception—unlocking insights within VR, AR and MR experiences.  

  • GankStars is a mobile-first esports organization focused on creating amazing experiences in gaming.  

  • Imposium unlocks creativity through data—helping brands create personalized videos at scale with a real-time data rendering technology.

  • ScoreStream is social network and score-sharing platform for local and high school sports teams and the fans that power them.

  • Streamroot is a streaming solution that multi-sources content delivery—improving video quality while lowering cost.

  • Transmit.Live is a broadcast marketing platform that helps content owners promote their live streams, maximize their audiences and capture real-time results.

  • Vidrovr uses machine learning and computer vision to make video more discoverable.

Tags: video , Paul Heitlinger , Media , content , Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio