New video startups keep it simple and fast

By Dennis Clemente

Last September 19, NY Video hosted another interesting video meetup at Columbia University with video startups Buzz 60, DecisionDesk, Productive Minds, Project ED and VSnap as presenters.

Buzz 60 showed how they have successfully partnered with Yahoo. It produces 50 shows a week. Founded by 3 broadcast journalists, Buzz 60 is a work-for hire production house that distributes topical short-form videos fast, with focus on on-demand news and entertainment content. Started in 2011, the company works with ad agencies, brands and media companies.

Steve Bradbury, COO and Rachel Trobman, director of Partner Relations and Content Development, are behind Buzz 60. “We produce co-branded videos in 2 hours or less,” Bradbury said who has a staff of 20.

How do they do it? “We do our research, look for what’s trending, and get in touch with creators. Plus, we have people who locate assets,” Trobman said. “Sometimes we have videos 2 days ready.”

It’s interesting how Buzz 60 can fit it in so many newsy stories in one short video. ProjectED, on the other hand, likes to have their videos breathe, as it is in more in the educational space.

Project ED is a new initiative that allows young filmmakers to use their talents to change K-12 education. Young creators from across the United States and Canada have created videos to help students learn, like the “Is Air Matter” video they showed to the 60 people at the meetup.

As incentive, they award cash prizes for the best videos.

“We aggregate these videos into a large, open, online library of the most engaging educational resources available on the web. Then we showcase these videos globally on the web and in K-12 classrooms,” said product manager Girish Gupta said. Community manager Sandie Cheng was also in attendance.

Project ED gets funding from Amplify Learning, Inc.

Companies that make use of collaborative tools were the next presenters. Production Minds Platform (PMP) and VSnap.

David Becker, co-founder of PMP, presented his online pre-production software, custom-made for film and TV industry professionals and is designed to replace Excel.

The software features a full pre-production process starting with crew management, through script breakdown, shot lists, production design as well as location and talent management.

“All crew members are kept up to date in real time,” he said, adding that it works for any production from commercials and music videos through indie films and documentaries as well as multi-million dollar feature movies.

“This is a record or archive as much as it is a tool,” he said.

Can you ultimately give up email with video?

VSnaps’: CEO and co- founder Dave McLauglin said no, even if his main focus is how to improve communication via videos. VSnap is a video tool that people in sales and support can use as a way to inject warmth into their interactions with customers.

“This platform allows you to record small personal video messages on any device,” he said. “We consider it a modern version of a thank you note.”

How confident is he with his startup? “The consumer thing has to happen before enterprises like Yammer. Yammer would not exist without Twitter,” he added.

At the meetup, he showed how VSnap is integrated with Salesforce. From his demo, you can send VSnap video messages from Salesforce and to have a record of that video message with you. His clients include All State.

Based in Boston, the company raised $1.25 million with six staff.

Ever thought how online portfolio should really work?

DecisionDesk’s: Eric Neuman, CTO/VP of Products and co-founder and Marc Plotkin, co-founder, showed how their web based service streamlines the submission and review process for any organization.

The two said 150 organizations are already on board with their online application management system. “You can put out a video and explain how you’re qualified to get into Yale or a company, for example, because resumes don’t represent us anymore.”

With this setup, he added, “You lower the BS factor.”

The affable Steve Rosenbaum moderated the event.