IC17: AV Start-Up Showcase Big Hit

When the IC-2015 show opened at 9 a.m. I recall that it was several hours before the first show attendee came wondering into the Showcase, and well after lunch before anyone would say there was a semblance of a crowd. The Showcase was a new event and word sometimes travels slow. Fast-Forward to IC17 and within 30 minutes of opening the first attendees were bee-lining into the Showcase and by 10:30 the space was packed. The Innovation Showcase had become a first stop destination at InfoComm. Like any good bourbon it took a while to mature, and wow is it there now! Some history of how the Showcase came about five years ago here. Here are the results as voted by People’s Choice and Industry Judges:

  • People’s Choice Grand Prize: Zero-Ohm
  • 2nd Place: Crowd Mics
  • 3rd Place:  BoxCast
  • Honorable Mention: System Surveyor
  • Judges Choice: Althar Audio

If you’re not a regular InfoComm attendee or just wondering why the popularity of this pavilion sky-rocketed, this is what brings Hype to the Innovation Showcase:

  • Entrepreneurs are just a cool group to hang with, and start-ups are the best.
  • Coffee or beer are associated with every event — sometimes both.
  • There is no energy like what you find around entrepreneurs.
  • The next big AV company might be one of these start-ups today.
  • In the early 1990s, I was at a large trade show, and I passed by a small both with a table and couple pieces of electronics. It was Crestron, and Mr. Feldstein was the lone guy behind the table. You just never know.
  • See cutting edge technology before anyone else.
  • Creativity is flooding out the doors.

Some interesting data points from IC17 Showcase:

  • We had 18 Start-ups.

    Who would pass up a couch and free coffee

  • We had just under 2,000 people come through the showcase.
  • Roughly 30% of the folks that came through cast a vote.
  • Attendees from 41 countries were scanned into the showcase.
  • We drank 37 gallons of coffee and used 2,140 creamer cups (Entrepreneurs need heaps of caffine).
  • There were two full time InfoComm employees who worked tirelessly on the Showcase all year and are the true hero’s of the event’s success; Jason McGraw & Randi Cavitt.
  • There were 3 VC groups that came to look, and two Start-up Incubators.
  • In addition to the People’s Choice voting, there were four Industry Judges that considered many factors including product viability in the current market space;  Scott Walker (CEO Waveguide), Gary Kayye (Founder rAVe Publications), Fred Bargetzi (CTO Crestron) & Lead Judge -Richard Blackwell (CEO Linked2).

Dave Labuskes (InfoComm CEO) at Showcase Awards

What InfoComm Provides

InfoComm provides an astonishing assortment of goods and services at low or no cost to each of the start-up companies in order to minimize their show expenses:

  • Kiosk with chairs, carpet, printed marketing material on kiosk and Internet
  • Common area with couches and bottomless coffee
  • Year-round marketing about the Innovation Showcase
  • IQ listings of any products
  • Listings in the Show Daily
  • Extensive coverage by rAVe Publications
  • List of all scanned attendees
  • Voting system for best in Show
    • $10,000 Grand Prize and free booth next year
    • $5,000 2nd place
    • $3,000 3rd place
  • Destination point on the show tour
  • Access to hang with all the cool InfoComm staff

…And so many more I can’t remember them all. The entrants put some skin in the game ($3,000) and get close to $15,000 in services.

Next year’s showcase plans are still top secret, but look for an expansion of the program to be bigger and better.

Show Winners

Grand Prize Winners – ZERO OHM

The People of the Innovation Showcase

  

Richard Blackwell

About Richard Blackwell

Richard Blackwell is the President and Chief Visionary of Linked2Software, a cloud-based building automation and equipment monitoring company. A Veteran U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Plant Supervisor and Graduate of Ga. Tech in Physics and Electrical Engineering, Richard has been in the AV and software industries for 20+ years. Richard received the first U.S. Patent awarded for Video Conferencing Integration in 1996. He speaks and writes regularly about industry topics ranging from Green-AV to IoT and cloud computing. He serves on the InfoComm Foundation Board of Directors and IoT Steering Committee. In the past he has also served on InfoComm Membership Committee, InfoComm Independent Programmers Council, and as a member of InfoComm 100.