Outgoing Turner CEO Phil Kent Sees Big Opportunities For The Company's Media Camp Incubator
Before the five startups taking part in this year’s San Francisco Media Camp took the stage at Demo Day, the gathered investors, journalists, and tech/media industry folk were addressed by Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent, who predicted big things for the startup accelerator.
Apparently this was the first time Kent has attended a demo day — which isn’t as bad as it sounds, since this is only the second one in San Francisco, and only the third Media Camp demo day overall. Kent said he’s “very proud” of the accelerator — the monetary investment from Turner is relatively small, but he pointed to the “time and talent of our executives” who are made available.”
Kent added that he’d like to see Media Camp become “a much bigger institutionalized activity within our company.” That might mean investing more money, or it might mean continuing to expand geographically. (Media Camp has gone from being a Turner-only effort in San Francisco to a join initiative between Turner and Warner Bros. — both companies are owned by Time Warner — in both SF and Los Angeles.)
On the other hand, Kent also acknowledged that it’s “easy for me to say,” since he recently announced plans to step down next year. In his words: “I fired myself a couple weeks ago.”
The idea that the mentorship, not the money, was what Turner really brought to the table was illustrated in the presentations themselves, where each startup was introduced by one of their mentors within Turner.
We actually wrote up all of the companies back in June, but here’s a refresher, with some updates from demo day:
ChannelMeter – A video analytics platform aimed at growing audiences and improving engagement. ChannelMeter says it’s already working with 2,000 brands and publishers.
Cinemacraft – Allows publishers to promote their content with “videograms”, which are interactive images highlighting different moments from a video. This is supposed to a big step up from the single thumbnail image that’s usually used to promote videos, and it also offers more opportunities for monetization.
Meograph – A tool for businesses to engage with customers and fans in content creation, in the form of a branded, embeddable unit on the company’s website. Customers include BBC and NPR.
Plumzi – A platform for animation studios to add interactive, game-like elements to their TV shows, turning them into “Active Episodes”. Plumzi has raised a seed round led by Insikt Ventures, with participation from the Walt Disney Company and Media Camp.
Tomorrowish – A social media DVR. If you’re watching an episode of TV after everyone else, or if you’re just a West Coaster who’s naturally three hours behind everyone on the East Coast, you can enjoy the social media experience as if you were watching live, thanks to Tomorrowish synchronization.