Austin startups leverage mobile technology for sports fans

Mar 21, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Two Austin-area startups are using mobile technology to target the enormous demographic market of people who watch sports and other events


Although SecondMic Inc. and Cheggin Inc. are taking different approaches to tap into that market, both companies are part of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator operating in downtown Austin, after relocating from the East Coast


SecondMic, which launched in New York last year, is designed to enable users to listen real-time to non-network sports commentators and experts during other events such as the Academy Awards. Cheggin was founded in Boston but launched this month the beta version of mobile application than enables users to traded group text messages and access statistics during games


Both startups plan to present their products and business plans during DreamIt Ventures’ demo day on April 2 at the AT&T Conference Center


In November 2013, two graduate school buddies who subsequently worked together at UBS in New York City, Andre Pacheco and Francisco Prat, got the idea for SecondMic while talking in a coffee shop about the demand for people to hear local broadcasters call nationally televised games. It also gives users an ability to message their views during the game


The two entrepreneurs declined to disclose the number of users SecondMic has attracted. They eventually plan to move back to New York City to be close to the many media companies there. SecondMic, which is a free iPhone application, plans to generate revenue from advertising and sponsorships


Philadelphia-based DreamIt, which was founded in 2007, bills itself as a venture capital firm specializing in incubation and seed investments. The firm invests $10,000 to $30,000 in each company in exchange for a 6 percent equity stake, CEO Kerry Rupp has said


Besides Austin, it also operates satellite offices in New York and Baltimore


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