STN: The first TV Network for Startups

startup tvStart-up Tv Network Inc. (STN) is a startup that brings together entrepreneurs and investors using online video and digital media. Here’s how it works: An entrepreneur submits his or her company to STN, at which point it is put under review. If approved, STN goes out and films the entrepreneur giving a 2 minute elevator pitch, which is uploaded and displayed on their website. From there, investors who are members of the site are able to view the pitch and choose whether they would like to invest. STN makes money on both sides of the equation: entrepreneurs are charged around $100 a month to have their video on the site, and although investors can join for free (only accredited investors are allowed membership), they have the option of paying to view other investors’ due diligence along with 3rd party research reports.

STN has filmed 50 companies to-date. The company is primarily focused on high tech startups, and is not planning on dealing with small retail or consumer product companies. In addition to membership fees and paid premium services, they plan to add revenue from advertising as well — whether ads will be embedded in the actual videos remains to be seen. Eventually, the company wants to expand to actualize its name by becoming a streaming video channel, both online and on cable.

For the past year STN has mostly remained in stealth mode. They recently raised $500k of a $1.5 million second round, with their initial seed round undisclosed.

This is an ambitious, unique idea for a startup, that if successful could eventually change the landscape for angel investors. Although many of the companies angels and VC’s invest in are dealing with the latest technology, the process of finding them remains largely offline. While this won’t replace the face-to-face pitch that investment groups are used to, it could prove to be an easy way to seed startups.

Start-Up Tv Network Inc. is located in Folsom, Calif., and is being backed by Velocity Venture Capital.

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Entrepreneurs Unplugged event in Los Angeles September 27th, 2007

bizorigin chakra eventThe Entrepreneurs meet up in Los Angeles brought was, by all accounts, a great success. About 50 entrepreneurs and investors from the greater LA area mingled in the VIP lounge of the Chakra restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Founders of several startups who have been featured on BizOrigin, were also present. The group of attendees represented a diverse range of industries from tech to web and media.

Attendees were eager to see this become a regular event.

entrepreneurs unplugged event


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Santa Monica video startup raises funding

LogoDeca is an online professional-video startup based in Santa Monica, Calif. that bills itself as “the first hybrid production and commercial model specifically for mainstream digital entertainment.” The company just announced it has raised $5 million in a series A round. Investors were Atomico Investments (last.fm, technorati), General Catalyst Partners, and Mayfield Fund. The site, which hasn’t launched yet, aims to provide video content on par with what comes out of Hollywood. Quite a lofty goal. The company’s services are three-tiered: Deca aims to finance, develop and distribute video. However, their actual website won’t showcase any of the content; all of the distribution is being handled by outside partners.
Deca was founded in 2007 by Michael Wayne and Chris Kimbell, both of whom have combined past experience at Sony Pictures, ABC, and Yahoo! Music. Wayne said the following:

Digital entertainment is not simply about posting something to YouTube; digital entertainment needs to be compelling, high quality, social and interactive. DECA brings the online and entertainment worlds together in a studio model that understands how new entertainment formats need to be created, funded, marketed, and distributed.

While this could seem like just another addition to the crowded online video space, the experience that the founders bring with them could prove to separate Deca from the pack. While online video appears to be saturated, people are still trying to figure out the right model to deliver “professional” content. Will big broadcast networks like NBC dominate the web market with sites like Hulu, or will startups have a shot? Big broadcasters definitely have first-mover advantage with their production studios constantly generating quality content, but that model may eventually be uprooted by companies like Deca.

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Docstoc Online Document Sharing launches - private beta invites

DocStoc has launched in private beta. A little while ago we wrote about the DocStoc website that allows users to share documents with others on the site.

DocStoc has made beta invitations available for Bizorigin readers. Use the invite code BZR81LH09RF3.

The beta invite from DocStoc, located in Beverly Hills, California, caught our eye because CEO Jason Nazar not only asked for feedback on the product, but also put his (only) cell phone number in the email, and promised to reply to any phone calls and mails.

docstoc beta

So far so good on the beta testing. We uploaded a pdf document (The Art of the Fast VC Pitch). The document appeared on the site with a minimum of fuss, and was viewed, according to the online document stats.

The site also allows for documents to be marked as private. That can come in handy when you just want to save a document online for your own use such as when you are traveling and need to access a document and don’t have the bandwidth needed to remotely access your PC.


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