SwitchPitch, often referred to as the “Sadie Hawkins” event for startups, was held at Terminal West last week. This reverse pitch event allows established businesses to pitch their ideas for technological innovation to startups who might be interested in collaboration. The Weather Company and Global Payments each took the stage for 15-20 minutes to explain a pain point they currently have and how they hope to fix it in 2015.
The Weather Company
Eli Phetteplace, Senior Head of Enterprise Data at The Weather Company, presented a problem that many older media companies face—how to exchange content with viewers.
In an age where anyone with a smartphone can create a video and capture a moment—a moment that may be of value to a business like The Weather Company—it becomes imperative that companies are equipped to utilize that content for its full value. As of now, The Weather Company struggles to convert user content into usable content. Phetteplace explained that user content was “valuable but complex and labor intensive.”
Some of the bigger issues were in regards to legal rights to content submitted to the company, as well as not having access to a platform that can take video content, edit it, and make sure it is viable for commercial use.
Phetteplace emphasized, “we need to make it easy to have the ability to digest that content.”
As far as startup talent goes, Phetteplace said that The Weather Company was looking for partners with software and commercial content experience, as well as partners who were creative and capable of coming up with a creative solution.
Global Payments, an international commerce company operational in 28 different countries, started their presentation off with one simple statement:
“We’re trying to solve for loyalty,” explained Jeff Goldberg, who works with mobile products at the company.
The solution, according to Goldberg, is a widely-applicable, flexible loyalty program. The ideal loyalty rewards engine would operate on one platform that many different merchants (both large and small) could use; would utilize a loyalty card or app that the consumer could use for any merchant within the network; and would reward points that could be redeemed at any business in the network.
The market for this kind of solution is extremely competitive, “there are a lot of players trying to get traction in this space,” said Goldberg.
Goldberg detailed what an ideal solution would look like- it would have to be multinational, able to solve for multiple verticals, integrate seamlessly into point of sales, and roll out the second quarter of 2015