4 early-stage media ventures worth following - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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May 12, 2015 12:36 pm

4 early-stage media ventures worth following

We hung around after the Made in NY Media Center Spring Demo Day last week and came across a handful of interesting projects.

Prototypes of Hoyt Street Productions' hardware, which are meant to help people learn guitar.

(Photo by Brady Dale)

Following the pitches to VCs at the Made in NY Media Center last week, the full incubator was open to members of the community, investors and peer organizations. The goal: help all organizations in the incubator space make fruitful connections. Technical.ly Brooklyn made the rounds and met lots of interesting new companies.

Here are four that stood out for us:

Made In NY Media Center by IFP, Spring Demo Day, 2015

Left to right, Adam Payne, Brendan Schlagel and Troy Grady, the cofounders of Hoyt Street Productions. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Hoyt Street Productions is a software and documentary company that’s currently focused on helping people get better at guitar. The team includes two producers (Brendan Schlagel and Adam Payne, shown above) and its main guitar talent, Troy Grady. The idea is to create instructional videos for playing guitar while also providing technology that can make it easier for people to look closely at how they play. They’ve made a bunch of videos already. (Other companies we’ve covered in the music-lesson space: LessonFace and Chordify.)

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Made In NY Media Center by IFP, Spring Demo Day, 2015

Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton, cofounders of ScreeningRoom. (Photo by Brady Dale)

ScreeningRoom is a project to enhance collaboration for filmmakers. Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton also run Four Corners Media, a documentary filmmaking company.

“ScreeningRoom is meant to solve a problem we’ve had for years in the industry, when we’re trying to share edits with collaborators,” Garen told us. ScreeningRoom provides a place to host those cuts and lets people make comments at specific points in the video.

One of the features that sounded especially compelling to us: transcription feature. Not only does this help users quickly find exactly what part of a film they’re looking for, publishing the transcript with a video could dramatically improve that video’s searchability.

It’s not an editing platform, just a sharing platform. It shares some qualities, in this way, with MixLuv, the GitHub for music we covered recently.

Garen told us that the company will be incorporating as a benefit corporation in New York state. We wrote recently about benefit corporations in the context of the Etsy IPO. As far as we know (and we’re pretty sure no one else is asking), ScreeningRoom would be the first company incorporated as a benefit corporation in the Brooklyn tech scene.

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Made In NY Media Center by IFP, Spring Demo Day, 2015

David Steinberger, untitled web series. (Photo by Brady Dale)

When we spoke to David Steinberger, he had basically just arrived from Berlin. He’s here on a grant from a German company to make a series of films about people in the city. His plan is to meet interesting people and ask them to show him parts of the real city that are meaningful to them. Not the tourist sites, but sites that matter to New Yorkers. He’s a one-man studio, and plans to make seven episodes in 10 weeks. Steinberger hasn’t settled on a title yet, but the videos will go up on YouTube when he starts publishing.

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Made In NY Media Center by IFP, Spring Demo Day, 2015

John Mullaly, founder and CEO of ShareRight. (Photo by Brady Dale)

John Mullaly’s ShareRight is an effort to give creators more ways to create permissions for use of their material. “Control over digital works online is completely broken,” Mullaly told us. No kidding. He’s exploring new ways to increase the flexibility for creators and make it harder for people to steal copyrighted work.

ShareRight wants to make it easier for publishers to effectively credit and pay authors of digital work, like music and photos. The idea is to increase the transparency around who made what. The product, he said, has been in development for year.

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