The Fiterator – Helping Startups Find Product Fit in the Cable/Broadband Industry

by Lisa Schwab | Sep 26, 2016 12:00:00 AM | Fiterator |

Last month, we announced the four selected companies for our first accelerator cohort starting this fall. The Fiterator™ was developed to help emerging technology companies find product fit in the global cable and broadband industry.  The differentiator is that with our program, they end with deals, not just a demo day.  This is a win for both sides because the cable industry will benefit from the innovations being developed by the startups while the startups gain traction and use cases as they advance their businesses working with major global players. But the true beauty and biggest benefactors from these successful relationships are the consumers of cable and broadband, because changes are coming and UpRamp is excited to be a catalyst for this!

When we announced the four companies in an earlier blog post, we gave a glimpse of their technology. Now that we are moving past Session 2, we are twisting and turning and crafting a solution using their technology to solve big issues in the cable industry.

Have you ever had a poor WiFi connection at a mall, arena, stadium, high rise, airport, apartment complex, etc, etc, etc? We know the answer.  <ARGH> The user experience stinks and Customer Care Centers are overwhelmed addressing poor performance and the effects of interference. That’s why Edgewater Wireless aims to fix painfully slow WiFi with its WiFi3™ technology. WiFi3 allows for multiple, concurrent channels of transmit and receive from a single, standards-compliant WiFi radio. The result: capacity, density, interference issues solved and people everywhere rejoice in a shower of connectivity. Well, you get the idea.

In a similar vein, Trinity Mobile Networks is fixing the problem of mobile WiFi and its inability to consistently provide a quality service for consumers. The founders of Trinity Mobile Networks were at a college football game and found it frustrating that they couldn’t get a reliable connection on their cell phones. They sat down that very day and sketched out a solution on a paper napkin. As it stands now, your phone clings on to available WiFi no matter how bad the actual connection might be. This is when we all pull our hair out in “that part of the kitchen”, the back of a restaurant, or, well, anywhere you experience the DEAD ZONE. Trinity created Jumpnet to remedy this.  It allows a seamless handoff between wifi and cellular networks to create the best quality of service for users.

Now let’s talk about Date Night. Have you ever had a disagreement with your “person” about what to watch together after a long work week? This can lead to separate room viewing, annoyed partners, and one person sneaking their cell phone out from boredom. Not exactly a recipe for success. MediaHound is solving this problem with a recommendation engine unlike anything you have ever seen before. It compares taste profiles and combines those to pick out the best option for both of you to watch with the Entertainment Graph™.

Last, but not least, we have VelociData. VelociData cleanses, transforms, and protects streaming and batch data without the need for database or applications programming. Why is this important? It will save companies time and money by troubleshooting before the end user even knows there is a problem. But also, back to that TV watching thing most of us engage in (hello, bingeing!). This could seriously reduce the number of calls to customer service. Yessssss.

These four companies are seeking the best product fit within our industry are looking to revolutionize it with their technology. UpRamp is helping them do that.  In Session One, our fearless Fiterator founders brought in their homework on business model canvasses specifically for the cable/broadband industry.  While they each have traction and successes elsewhere, they are tweaking their products and models to fit within THIS eco-system.  They were introduced to subject matter experts in areas ranging from Proactive Network Management to Wireless Architecture as they began to validate (and invalidate, as it goes) their assumptions about how their innovations can change the space. They also began speaking with Multi-System Operators (MSOs) to discover the major pain points they may be able to help remedy. It was a packed session where the teams adjusted their value propositions and planted seeds of learning for the next three months.  They then got to sit back and enjoy a Killer Innovations presentation from CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney.

Session Two had the teams learning about selling to the enterprise, how the cable industry really works, marketing to cable companies, and of course, a lot more mentor and advisor sessions.

We just returned from Session Three in NYC where the four CEOs got to pitch their technology and lessons learned thus far to the CableLabs board members, who happen to tbe the CEOs and CTOs of the major global cable operators.  This was a special opportunity for which we were all very grateful.

These first three sessions have been about learning and now we move into testing mode with the companies- this is an exciting time for all parties.  UpRamp’s Fiterator is a lot of work, a ton of fun, and is leading to a whole lot of success for all sides. Learn more about the program and stay tuned for the application process for the next cohort .