Recap: ideaBOOST at Banff World Media Festival

On the week of June 9th to June 12th, the ideaBOOST spring 2013 cohort – AlertTV, BemusedNetwork, Instaradio, Lightning Platform, Motion Panels and Wondereur – travelled to join the Banff World Media Festival to engage with top leaders across an evolving media landscape.

Attracting over 150 Development Executives and a wide-ranging cross-section of television and digital media professionals from around the world, BANFF is the ideal place to make new contactsfind production partners and green-light new projects.

Here is a recap of the ideaBOOST teams’ experience at the festival:

One-on-One Meetings with Potential Mentors & Investors 

Throughout the duration of the festival, the cohort were joined by festival mentors including Joseph Giraldi – VP Digital from the Smithsonian Channel, Deborah Drisdell - Director of Digital Enterprises for the National Film Board, Jesse Albert – President of Xpansive Media and Jason Haikara - President of MediaLink, for individual face-to-face meetings. The participants were advised on key areas including sales strategy and acquisition, audience engagement, product development and brand integration.

According to Nick DeMartino, President of Nick DeMartino Consulting, the strong line up of executives scheduled to meet with the 6 teams allowed for a great variety of pitch opportunities which were all observed by one or more of the mentors. This not only helped the teams improve their pitches, but gave mentors a chance to see their progress, intervene during the meetings as needed, and provide instant feedback after the fact. The teams learned to listen, to hear about customer pain points, about how different companies currently solve their problems, and whether a new improved solution would be appealing.

They were also joined by a number of ideaBOOST faculty for guidance and support throughout the festival experience, including Ana Serrano, CFC Chief Digital Officer, and Ondi Timoner, Award-Winning Filmmaker.

Rapid-Fire Tech Showcase: A Live Practice Pitch

On Tuesday, June 11th, the cohort were invited to participate in a demo hub, hosted by ideaBOOST. They each had 4 minutes to present their product and demonstrate how they are transforming the landscape of entertainment media.

According to DeMartino, “By the time the teams hit the stage for the formalized pitch sessions before a live audience, we could see a marked improvement in the articulation of all six companies’ value propositions. Most of the companies were more relaxed, confident, and clear. Several had added excellent personal stories that drove home their company’s concept effectively.”

The immersion in repeated pitches to slightly different audiences over and over in a short period of time heightened many of the deficiencies of the teams and their models. Because of this intensity, they will be able to narrow the focus on the essential challenges facing each of them.

Many doors were opened for the teams during the conference. There was a lot of valuable positioning data, questioning, challenges, and assistance in focusing the product features, product/market fit, and revenue models. Some companies added new customers to their sales pipeline, others found new champions or found new points to pivot for their company. Instaradio was connected to a company developing “radio plays” as part of a transmedia property – the connection happened spontaneously through the extended network of the BWMF.

Feedback from the Cohort

Melch Valimento, Motion Panels:

“All the feedback that we’ve gained through the numerous connections that we’ve met is currently helping us in shaping how our final product would look like. Some assumptions about our product were debunked, while some key expectations were essentially met, allowing us to re-group and re-focus our energies to implement the more important features of our app.”

Kevin Kliman, Instaradio:

“Banff was great… Tons of valuable meetings and insight around integrating our company into the entertainment ecosystem. Biz dev is one of our biggest needs, and Jesse Albert was great at walking me through how to approach the problem.”

Angelica, Wondereur:

“Over the course of three days, thanks to the ideaBOOST team, serendipity and our own targeting efforts, we had the opportunity to meet with about 20 people in the media industry… we were able to capture valuable feedback on our value propositions and trigger serious discussion on potential deals/partnerships.”

For more information about the ideaBOOST teams:

  • Motion Panels 
    an authoring tool that animates graphic novels, cartoon strips and story books for movile devices
  • Instaradio
    a simple and powerful way to live stream and record audio that can be listened to on any device
  • Bemused Network
    a community-based discovery service for entertainment and events
  • Lightning Platform
    a cloud-based platform that tracks and targets user actions to aid product and service development
  • Wondereur
    an app that brings storytelling to e-tailing, beginning with contemporary artists
  • AlertTV
    an online system that enables producers to target and engage audiences using multi-platform strategies to measure success