From the Newsletter: The Evolution of Innovation Showcase

by Edie Winters | Mar 27, 2019 12:00:00 AM | Innovation Showcase | |

The CableLabs Europe Conference is coming up in a little over a  week, and with CES already more than two months behind us, we're deep into Innovation Showcase season here at UpRamp. We've spent the past few weeks combing through applications from talented, innovative entrepreneurs who want to demo their technology to the CableLabs community, and we're excited to see the selected six get on stage in London.

2019 marks the 13th year that we've been running Innovation Showcase - and although the name hasn't changed, the program itself has evolved dramatically. The needs of our startups and of our members have shifted over time, and we've been hard at work to help each reach their goals.

Innovation Showcase was conceived in 2006 at the CableLabs Silicon Valley event, and then kicked off at the following Summer Conference in Keystone, MC'd by Sam Schwarz. We were inspired by the DEMO Conference, the product launch series hosted by IDG and All Things D.

At the time, a decade before UpRamp even existed, we were already seeing a need to introduce exciting new technologies such as Ruckus, uControl, and MovieLabs into the connectivity industry. Back then, selected teams were given minimal preparation - and it quickly became clear that startups didn't fully understand our industry, and our industry didn't quite understand them.

That dynamic has since changed, partially due to how we've improved Innovation Showcase prep. What started as nothing quickly became a single day of in-person prep before evolving into its current form: multiple video calls in the weeks before the event, plus a full day of in-person prep with a presentation coach. We're focused on making sure that startups understand their own value proposition for our industry before they get on stage so that both sides can get maximum value.

As Innovation Showcase has developed over the years - with MCs and producers including Glenn Russell and George Kakatsakis - we've narrowed our focus even more to working with the smaller, more agile startups for which the event is now known.

Since becoming established as the platform for bringing together startups and the connectivity industry, UpRamp has taken over producing Innovation Showcases for CableLabs, with Executive Director Scott Brown as the current MC and Satish Ramakrishnan co-producing along with me. Innovation Showcase has become one of the main stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle within UpRamp's programs, giving budding entrepreneurs a place to showcase their work, even if it's not yet ready for market or for a program like the Fiterator.

To date, Innovation Showcase alumni have raised $2B in funds and have established partnerships, deals, and acquisitions. We're already a third of the way into year 13 of showcasing incredible companies to the connectivity industry - and this year is going great. Just ask TiBiT.

Get our thoughts on industry and startup trends, find out where we'll be scouting, and more: