We selected companies that are working in one of the following five areas in the broadcasting industry:
- Operational Efficiency (e.g., news gathering, crowdsourced content, audio/video production, drones, equipment, workflow);
- Audience Engagement (e.g., social media, social viewing, brand loyalty, local community);
- Audience Measurement (e.g., big data, analytics, profiling, targeting, conversion, attribution);
- Content Distribution (e.g., web presence, monetization through alternate channels, OTT, robust reception, antennas); and
- Enhanced User Experience (e.g., virtual reality, 3D, immersive audio, time shifted viewing, new gadgets for content consumption)
Moreover, we selected companies with valuation of $6M or less. We did not select startups that were too advanced and were planning to raise money through a Series-A round or beyond. Since our SAFE contract has a $6M valuation cap, it made sense to exclude those higher-valued startups even though some of them demonstrated good fit with the broadcasting and media industry.
We also evaluated the applications based on their quality and comprehensiveness. The applications that advanced to the next round provided all the information we asked for. Most successful applications included pro-forma financial information, pitch deck, and a one-minute video of the pitch.
The applications are now being evaluated by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Six Dingman Angels will judge the applications based on their merit. Each application will be reviewed by at least three Dingman Angels.
When the Dingman Angels’ evaluation process is complete, an attorney will contact the top five applicants to ensure that the applicants, if they win, will accept PILOT’s $50K investment in SAFE notes. Only the startups that are willing to accept PILOT’s investment with the already published terms and conditions will be selected as finalists.
Two MBA interns at the Robert H. Smith School of Business will perform the due diligence of the five finalists. If a startup fails to pass this scrutiny, another startup from the waiting list will be selected instead.
The five vetted finalists will be declared in late August. These finalists will be coached by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship for the PILOT Pitch Prize 2018 event at the NAB Show NY. Stay tuned for more updates in late August.