Category Archives: Jeff Segal

30 SECONDS OVER CHICAGO

30 SecondsFrom the City’s Hardest Rocking Startup

by Jeff Segal – Message Therapist

What’s your favorite place to hear live music in Chicago? What makes it rock? Don’t tell me—tell Gigity.TV, a Chicago startup that live streams concerts from local venues.

To shine a brighter spotlight on the clubs and theaters where 30 SecondsChicago’s dynamic music scene lives, Gigity.TV is sponsoring its third “30 Seconds Over Chicagocompetition, urging local writers, musicians and videographers to create 30-second commercials for 45 local venues like Schubas Martyrs’ and the Riviera Theater.

The winning team gets $1000. Every team gets a $150 bar credit from their venue. And the deadline for pitches is this Sunday, Nov. 3 at midnight.

Gigity.TV founder Rich Seng says, “It’s all about promoting what makes Chicago a great music city.”

.

A Rock ‘n’ Roll Time Machine

Seng founded Gigity.TV to be Chicago’s rock ‘n’ roll time machine.

“Imagine if you could go back and watch Nirvana at Cabaret Metro in 1990, or the first Smashing Pumpkins shows,” says Rich Seng, Founder of Gigity.TV. “That’s what we’re doing—sharing and archiving Chicago culture so it can live forever.

Gigity Stream

A recent Gigity.TV broadcast

Gigity.TV sets up camera systems in music venues and livestreams concerts—with audio straight from the soundboard—to subscribers worldwide. Sign-up is free, and so are many of the shows. Gigity.TV streams about 60 shows a week and boasts a viewable archive of more than 2200.

“Say you live in Australia, but you’ve heard about this great Chicago music scene,” says Seng. “Now you can watch it live.”

Venues pay to have the cameras installed, then share in pay-per-view and advertising revenues. (The performers get a significant cut as well—Gigity.TV’s stated mission is “to help artists take another step towards making a living off of their talents.”) Once the system’s installed, says Seng, “All they have to do is hit Create Broadcast, set start and end times, and upload the band profile. Then they can go back to running the bar.”Gigity.TV logo

The results won’t win any awards, but the automated three-camera set-up does an amazing job of changing perspectives to capture the intensity of the performance. If you’re a suburban music lover who doesn’t like crowds, drinking or staying up late, Gigity.TV is even better than being there.

.

Pitches Pouring In All Weekend

Most of the venues in 30 Seconds Over Chicago don’t have Gigity.TV set-ups, but Seng insists the competition isn’t about adding them to his roster. The point is to highlight local creative talent. “Everyone who works on these spots is credited. Say someone at one of the major ad agencies sees a spot and it really gets his attention. It’s a way for your portfolio to reach more eyeballs.”

Previous competitions have invited spots for Wicker Park retailers and Chicago area brew pubs. Teams shoot on shoestring budgets, but Seng says, “Some of the winners from the brew pub competition look like they cost $100,000.”

Flossmoor Beer

Flossmoor Brewing, a winner from the Brew Pub Competition

.

If you’re thinking it’s too late to jump in, don’t worry. Your pitches don’t have to be anything elaborate—just short write-ups of what kind of spots you’d create for particular venues. (A young girl is above the stage looking out of the window on the top floor ….) Each venue picks the concept it likes best, and the 45 finalists have a little over a month to complete their spots before the finals, Dec. 10 at the Double Door.

All you really need to compete, Seng says, are, “Creativity, resourcefulness, and a love for the music.”

.

About the Author

Jeff Segal works with entrepreneurs as a Message Therapist, translating great ideas into messages that connect with customers, partners and investors. He also writes at BrokerSavant  and We’re Not Expecting Any Surprises Contact him at mt.jeffsegal@gmail.com or Twitter @MsgTherapist

.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, BNC Venture Capital, chicago, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, Jeff Segal, new companies, The City

VAST PILES OF MONEY

Chicago Social Enterprise Eyes a Trillion Dollar Market

Piggy BankImpact Engine Part 9 – by Jeff Segal, Message Therapist –

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”— James Baldwin

Imagine your reaction if your bank charged you a 9% fee to write a check to your sister in Cleveland. You send $100, but she only gets $91.

It’s unthinkable. But if you’re a low-wage immigrant sending part of your wages to family in your native country, that’s standard procedure—just one of the ways  you pay more for being poor.

But this isn’t an article about how immigrants get ripped off. It’s about vast piles of money.

Dubai is one of the world’s largest employers of foreign workers

Dubai is one of the world’s largest employers of foreign workers

Estimates vary, but there are currently well over 200 million people who work in one country

and send their earnings somewhere else. Rahier Rahman, Founder and CEO of Pangea a Chicago-based global payments company, says “Remittances through formal channels in 2012 were estimated at $534 billion. Many experts believe that flows through informal channels double that estimate. We’re looking at a trillion dollar market.”

Do I have your attention yet?

Rahier Rahman - CEO

Rahier Rahman – CEO

Between fees and the spread on exchange rates, the World Bank claims the average cost of an international transfer is 9.3%. Nine percent of a trillion dollars is a vast pile of money. Hell, any percent of a trillion dollars is a vast pile of money.

“And some markets are more competitive than others,” adds Rahman. “In corridors like Japan-to-China, fees can be as high as 20%.”

Now then. On the one hand we have millions of hard-working, poorly paid people getting the

Carson Junginger - Product Dev

Carson Junginger – Product Dev

shaft from the corporate banking establishment. On the other hand, we have vast piles of money. It’s a textbook opportunity for a social enterprise solution.

That’s where Pangea comes in.

.

A textbook social enterprise solution

To review: a social enterprise generates its sustainable revenue and profit from a business model that achieves a social benefit. Startups from Chicago-based incubator Impact Engine are proving that profit-driven innovation can create solutions to some of the world’s direst problems.

pangeaPangea is one of eight startups from Impact Engine’s first cohort They’ve developed a new approach to money transfer that skips the entrenched, agent-based system. With a beta launch scheduled for later this year, Rahman doesn’t share many details, but says Pangea will work through existing retailers, online or mobile, will make funds available instantly, and will “help consumers save between 50% and 80% of what they’re paying now.”

Some perspective: Workers in the US remitted $22.4 billion to Mexico in 2012 —more than all foreign direct investment in Mexico—and incurred just over $2 billion in fees. Cutting those charges by half would put an extra billion dollars into the hands of 1.4 million Mexican working class families.

remittance1

Workers transfer billions to Mexico every year. Workers in the US remitted $22.4 billion to Mexico in 2012

Money like that has what Rahman calls “a reverberating impact,” since earnings are so much lower in developing economies. What we Americans might consider spare change can create meaningful lifestyle changes for poor families in places like India or Latin America.

Bottom line—if Pangea succeeds, millions of people will lead better lives.

.

Investors Won’t Do Badly, Either

Omar Khudeira - Engineering

Omar Khudeira – Engineering

Of the five Impact Engine startups to receive funding since December’s Investor Day , Pangea has closed the most to date—a $1 million angel round. “Our partners recognize and respect our mission,” Rahman says.

I imagine they also recognize and respect the profit potential of a company that seizes even a fraction of a percent of a trillion dollar market.

That’s not cynicism. That’s capitalism.

Pangea has identified an underserved market, determined a pain point, and built a solution.

Lamia Pardo - Marketing

Lamia Pardo – Marketing

Like any other startup, their success will make a few wealthy people even wealthier.

Unlike any other startup, their success will also make large numbers of poor people a little less poor.

.

Contacts

Pangea – gopangea.com

Impact Engine – www.TheImpactEngine.com

Image credits: guardian.co.uk   arstechnicaPangea

This article appeared on the wildly popular WE’RE NOT EXPECTING ANY SURPRISES

.

About the Author

Jeff SegalJeff Segal Twitter Bird @MsgTherapist, works with entrepreneurs as a Message Therapist, translating great ideas into messages that connect with customers, partners and investors. He also writes at BrokerSavant and We’re Not Expecting Any Surprises. Contact him at mt.jeffsegal@gmail.com

.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

.
.

2 Comments

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Impact Engine, Impact Investing, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, investor, Jeff Segal, Kellogg, Northwestern, Social Entrepreneur, vc, venture capital

TOP FIVE STARTUPS THAT DIDN’T MAKE TECHWEEK’S FINAL FIVE

Startup_CityTechweek – Part 1

By Jeff Segal – Message Therapist

I love startups. But I’m cheap. So I was happy to buy the $30 Expo pass to Techweek Chicago.  No way was I shelling out for the $650 VIP pass.

Which meant I got to browse Startup City and meet the founders of 70 startups, but couldn’t crash the LAUNCH Final Five event. And you know what? I’m sure it was lovely, but apparently they chose the finalists based on nothing more than concept, business model, strength of team and presentation. Bor-ing.

I selected mine, on the other hand, based on pure awesomeness. Will they succeed? Will they find funding? Do they have sufficiently unique value propositions? Who cares?

All that matters is, one way or another, these five startups struck me as brilliant.

.techweek_chicago

Editor’s Note – Next time, just crash the gates like I did by tagging along with YouTopia.  

And hey, everybody else in Chicago is at the parade celebrating the Blackhawk’s Stanley Cup victory!

.

Best New Way for Shy People to Hook Up

Ever see an attractive stranger and wish you could connect without embarrassing yourself? Get yourself a deck of anonymous intro cards from Cheek’d. With messages like “I just put all my drinks on your tab” and “I’m totally cooler than your date,” the cards let the stranger connect to your profile without either of you seeing the other’s contact info. I love a tech startup that’s all about plain old, last-century cards, and the way you can make new connections without sharing everything with the whole world. It’s antisocial networking!

.

Best Completely Pointless Time Waster

Yes, there are a zillion sites where people do nothing but post, share and vote on witty little comments, but I’ve never seen one with as cool a design or as obnoxious a name as F.U. I’m Right.

FU I'm Right

Plus, it made me LMAO. Sample question: “You catch your teenager with a dime bag.

  • A— Smoke it.
  • B—Dump it.”

(“Smoke it” is winning, 56% to 44%.) This is the kind of startup that gives startups a reputation as overhyped hangouts for overeducated frat boys with nothing better to do. God Bless America.

.

Best Where-Was-This-When-I-Needed-It App

It’s Saturday night. My suburban wife and I head into the city to meet some friends at a bar near Belmont and Racine. It takes us 45 minutes to get there—and another 45 minutes to find a damn parking spot! Sure wish I’d known about Faspark. Faspark

You type in your destination and it gives you a neighborhood route, color-coded from most to least likely blocks to find parking. I haven’t tested it yet, but if it works as advertised it’s a watershed moment in Western Civilization.

.

Best Slap-Your-Forehead Business Software

Remember back in the 90s when they said the Internet would create a paperless workplace? (Don’t say, No dude, I was still in grade school. Just don’t.) While we’re waiting for that miracle, PrintEco has developed an algorithmic plug-in that optimizes printed content so it fits on a smaller number of pages. And it’s free. You can keep all that software that saves money through streamlined processing or greater storage or maximized bandwidth or whatever. I’ll take the one that saves trees, too.

.

Best Idea Your Friends Will Hate You For

“Are you a blogger?” they asked me at the Snip.ps booth. “Wouldn’t you like to get paid for it?” Well, sure. How it works is, you convert any link with your Snip.ps account and post it wherever. Then, every time someone clicks on your link, they have to watch an ad for 10 seconds before they get connected—and you get paid. I might just join. Not that I think I’ll make much money. But it will force me to ask myself, “Is this Tweet worth making my friends sit through a ten-second Morgan Stanley commercial?

Don’t like my winners? Check out the other 65 startups and pick your own. It’s not as much fun as cruising Startup City, but you’re still $30 ahead of me.

Jeff Segal Logo.

.

.

.

..

Go to Part 2 – TECH CHILDREN

.
.

Our logo proclaims “Chicago is the World.” We believe creativity is spawned by adversity. That makes Chicago a growing center for thought leadership in the world.
.
Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.
.
.Copyright © 2013 Jeff Segal – All Rights Reserved
.
.

2 Comments

Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, chicago, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Politics, Events, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Invention, investor, Jeff Segal, Mobile, Mobile App, Social Media, Software, Techweek, vc, venture capital