Charlotte Startup: Rawporter Talks About What DEMO Was Like

Our good friends Kevin and Rob at Rawporter were among the startups that presented at DEMO last week in Santa Clara. We reached out to many of the startups that were coming from “Everywhere Else” to DEMO to talk to them about their experience and what it is they were doing.

Rawporter is an app and service (Service as an app) that allows everyday people with smartphones to take pictures and videos, upload them to the rawporter site and then get paid for providing “man on the street” coverage to news outlets across the country, and the world. It’s also a great service for bloggers to source video that they might not otherwise be able to cover.

“Now anyone who needs custom video and photo content can request it from our users who might already be in the right place at the right time. In exchange for responding to assignments, our Rawporters get the compensation and credit they deserve simply for putting their smartphone to work.” Kevin Davis, co-founder of Rawporter told

So we wanted to find out why, with all the startup competitions across the country, did Rawporter choose DEMO?

“We knew DEMO was a tremendous platform to launch a new business, but since we’re still bootstrapping, we weren’t sure if we could afford the exhibition fee. Luckily, they offered us a scholarship and that made it a very easy decision. The DEMO team was incredibly helpful and we can’t thank them enough for the experience and exposure that Rawporter received at the event.”

More after the break

Tell us 2 tips you learned at DEMO that you hadn’t known before:

1) It’s amazing to present alongside startups from so many different backgrounds, but it can be intimidating as well. If you’re a small startup and you hope to stand out amongst the companies with millions in funding, you better have something memorable to show the crowd. It’s easy to blend i —or stand out for the wrong reasons—so find something really unique about your product and let it shine.

2) It helps to branch out and meet as many other Demonstrators as possible. The startup community is on fire right now and we’ve never met nicer or more ambitious people who want to see others succeed as well. It’s a neighbor helping-neighbor culture and the more folks you meet the more likely you are to find synergies and selflessness that might surprise you

What was your most interesting question from a journalist?

Are you seeing any interest from outside the US?

” We heard this question consistently from the mainstream media, which led us to believe that they are seeing the same trends that we are. It’s much more commonplace abroad to compensate contributors for User Generated Content and it seems the US is just coming to terms with this. We’re really excited to see more than 1/3rd of our activity coming from outside the US and we currently have Rawporters in 40 countries and counting. We’ve been focused on improving the technology up to this point but we’re getting closer to marketing in order to grow the business.”

What was the reception of the rawporter concept?

“We kept hearing the same message from journalists, investors and other exhibitors… “It’s an idea who’s time has come” and “this is an industry that is ripe for disruption.” We agree and are eager to start spreading the word.”

Were you able to generate excitement from not just potential investors but potential content providers?

“Thankfully yes! Between the visibility we got from the press and the number of independent attendees at the event, we saw a large number of new users join Rawporter. Interestingly, we found that many of our fellow entrepreneurs and bloggers were eager to download and use the App as well.”

What’s one thing you didn’t get to do at DEMO that you wish you had?

“Because we were so new to the experience, we didn’t get to spend as much time interacting with the speakers and influencers that were attending. We wanted to stay focused on our presentation, which was important, but it would have been nice to spend more time learning from the experts in attendance.”

Tell us the three startups outside of Rawporter that caught your eye

Tourwrist allows you to shoot and share your 360º panoramic photos – totally free! There are
numerous ways to use the technology so we’re curious to see how it evolves.
Iconocast (Smurks) is really neat. We think they’re going to become the new standard in
consumer rating systems and actually hope to partner with them as we build our Rawporter
Looqiloo allows anyone to upload videos about their favorite products and share them with their
friends, family and social networks who can them buy them on the spot.
Were you nervous?

“YES. There were more than 1,000 journalists, investors and technologists at DEMO. The venue was massive and it looked and felt like a rock concert back stage. We practiced our pitch nearly 100 times and felt pretty good afterward but there’s no denying how intimidating an event that size can be. Ultimately it was an amazing experience though and we are incredibly grateful that we got to participate.”


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