PILOT announced Hour One, Backlight and TSV Analytics as the winners of the 2023 PILOT Innovation Challenge. The winners will receive a trip to the 2023 NAB Show, April 15–19, in Las Vegas, with exhibit space on the convention floor in which to demonstrate their products to potential customers, investors and partners.

The PILOT Innovation Challenge specifically sought products or prototypes that align with three focus areas of the 2023 NAB Show associated with the content lifecycle: Create, Capitalize and Connect. Winning submissions provided compelling solutions to key challenges and opportunities facing broadcasters over the coming two to three years.

This year’s winners are:


Backlight: Iconik, a Backlight product, is a cloud-native solution that gathers and organizes media securely from any storage, providing a central point at which teams can gather, find assets and collaborate using any device. With hassle-free media collaboration and powerful automation features, iconik enables teams to streamline and accelerate editorial workflows.

Hour One

Hour One: Hour One enables a single person to generate video quickly at low cost and high scale. The solution provides an AI-driven, entirely virtual broadcast video platform, complete with lifelike virtual news anchors and customizable 3D news studios. It includes script- and image-generation features to further remove friction from broadcast news creation.

TSV Analytics

TSV Analytics: TSV Analytics is an analytical social media management platform designed to make social media content more effective. Designed to help social media managers across all stages of the content creation process, from content ideation to creation to distribution, the platform streamlines and optimizes the social media management process.

“Hour One, Backlight and TSV Analytics stood out from an exceptional pool of Innovation Challenge applications that deliver practical and business benefits our industry can use today,” said PILOT Executive Director John Clark. “These startups stood out as exceptional to our judges for the direct way in which they tackle immediate and future challenges with specific, ready-to-use solutions that can help broadcasters tell compelling stories. We look forward to seeing these impressive teams and their winning products on the NAB Show floor.”

Hour One represents the second year in a row a startup associated with the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University has been named an Innovation Challenge winner, following Spalk’s selection in 2022.