Nick DeMartino Proposes an Entertainment Industry Accelerator
On Friday March 16th, 2012 Nick DeMartino published a very intriguing proposal, calling for "a year-round community of tech, creative and business innovators who tackle the pain points and create innovation (and disruption) in the entertainment business."
It was just a short blogpost, but in it Nick DeMartino, the former head of the AFI Digital Content Lab, proposes an Entertainment Industry Accelerator, where guidance and support, resources (e.g., office space and legal counsel), and even seed money is available to problem-solvers with entertainment business models that can grow quickly and perhaps scale across the globe.
Is this a new idea? Or are other entrepreneurs already hard at work on the problems Nick identifies?
There already are a number of organizations that are funding tech innovation for the existing motion picture industry (e.g., the studio-supported Movie Labs and USC's tech-centric Entertainment Technology Center). And Nick's blogpost does a great job of listing recent movie-related start-ups (including movie recommendation engines and apps for indie film distribution).
But, while there is funding for tech companies, what Nick DeMartino is looking for is unique: Nick wants to start an accelerator for entertainment solutions (driven by the new digital technologies) with a focus on the creators and the audience for new content (rather than fixating on technology, or apps that improve movie delivery, or simply tools for re-purposing existing content like clips).
What Nick wants is an accelerator for truly innovative entertainment pioneers - the kind of thinkers who are comfortable with content and technology, and who see their role as developing innovative (and scaleable?) content for the emerging online audience.
Right now, Nick is looking for a few individuals with deep pockets who are willing to bankroll such a venture - in return for a small amount of equity in the start-up companies.
There is no doubt that the New World of digital distribution and interactivity will make fortunes for some (the backers of the yet-to-be-invented 21st Century motion picture studios?).
What Nick DeMartino is writing about is an opportunity for investors who want to get in on the ground floor of the revolution in content.