Rawporter: Nitty Gritty Raw Citizen Journalism

Rawporter, New York startup, North Carolina startup, citizen journalism startup,startup,everywhereelse.co

Rawporter co-founder Kevin Davis pitches at everywhereelse.co 2013 (photo: Allie Fox for NMI)

By: Andrea LeTard, University of Memphis Entrepreneurial Journalism Student

To startup co-founders Rob Gaige and Kevin Davis, news is news, and it’s spreading fast with their website, rawporter.com.

Rawporter.com helps people earn money for the photos and videos they normally post on Facebook and Twitter,” said Gaige. “Think about when you see breaking news or you see a celebrity, your normal instinct is to take a photo or video, and you tweet it out. With Rawporter, you can make money off these posts.”

Many media outlets, ad agencies, and brands want to use the photos and videos people post online. The problem is they can’t always find good, relevant photos and videos, and when they do, they can’t always trust them. Once they finally find one they actually want, they have to negotiate and determine what it is worth.

“With Rawporter, you can actually take a photo or video, post it to our site, and we still tweet it or put it on the Facebook page, but it’s got a watermark and it’s got a price tag,” said Gaige.

Every big idea has a story, and Rawporter came about when Gaige and Davis were at the right place at the right time. Back when both of them were working in corporate America two years ago, they were at a local bar’s happy hour talking about their future careers when a car ran into the restaurant next to them. According to Gaige, it was a huge scene, with the street closed down and people running out to take pictures and videos – something they assumed would naturally be seen on the news that night. Wrong. The story didn’t even make the local evening news.

Gaige said, “By the time the news media got there, the scene had already been cleared and there was no story, but if they would’ve had our footage they could’ve had something to lead off the newscast.”

Rawporter turns regular people into reporters. Media outlets send push notifications via the Rawporter app if they know a story is breaking across town. If they can’t get there fast enough, they can go to Rawporter and see how many people are in that area, and those people will be paid for the job.

“So instead of media outlets patrolling twitter or hoping someone got a photo, they can now go online and find what they need immediately,” said Gaige.

With several thousand users in over 50 countries, Rawporter’s base is now strong enough for them to approach media outlets and outsource their assignments.

For more information on Rawporter, visit http://rawporter.com.

Charlotte Startup: Worksnaps Helps You Monitor Your Remote Workforce

Worksnaps, Charlotte startup, North Carolina startup,startup,startup interviewAs the internet gets faster and faster more and more remote work opportunities have opened up at companies both large and small. Sure gigantic Fortune 500 companies with a telecommuting workforce have monitoring tools in place, but for small companies like startups and even blogs can’t afford the same luxury.

Sure you can see output but how can you tell if a delayed assignment is a legitimate issue in the workflow or perhaps your telecommuter decided to take a three hour lunch?

Charlotte startup Worksnaps, founded by Waley Zhang, hopes to solve the problem of monitoring remote workers. They employ technology similar to the kind you may find monitoring children using the internet. Spyware would be an unfair term for the type of service Worksnaps offers because ultimately it’s meant to benefit the business owner or entrepreneur but essentially that’s what it is.

Worksnaps technology is based on screen shots that are taken while the remote worker is “on the clock”. A service like Worksnaps may draw harsh criticism from privacy advocates. The easiest way around that would be to supply the remote worker with a company owned computer. As Zhang told us in an interview, it’s about monitoring work flow and making sure that remote workers are actually working, not what they may be doing in their free time.

Worksnaps has already attracted 3000 clients with over one million hours tracked, and with that, productivity improves.

Check out the rest of our interview with Zhang below.

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Charlotte Serial Entrepreneur Unveils Soccer Startup Social Network KYCK

KYCK,Charlotte startup, North Carolina startup,NC Startup,startup,startups,soccer social network,startup interviewMac Lackey and Ross Saldarini are serial entrepreneurs in Charlotte North Carolina, they’re also soccer enthusiasts.  The pair have started several startups and even had a few exits. Their most notable exits were selling internetsoccer.com to a public European media company, and selling Mountain Khakis to Remington.

Now they’re back at it again, infusing their love of startups, social media and soccer into one new company called KYCK.  KYCK is a social network, and community for soccer enthusiasts connecting them to each other and an abundance of great soccer related content.

Through a proprietary content delivery system that Lackey calls “media layers” they are able to offer even the most scrupulous  of soccer fans the best possible experience through their own personal soccer focused dashboard.

While we’re all familiar with how popular soccer is overseas, a poll conducted by ESPN earlier this year showed that soccer has climbed to the second most popular sport in the United States behind football among those age 12-24 which is one of the most important demographic for professional sports.

(source: ESPN)

With the vast amount of soccer related content, pouring in from across the globe, and the increase in popularity for the sport, KYCK is poised to become the destination for soccer fans around the world.

We got a chance to talk with Lackey about soccer, KYCK and raising a startup in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out the interview below:

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Video Interview With Charlotte Startup: WeRX Winners Of The StartupRockon Contest At The DNC

Just prior to the StartupRockon kickoff part at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte North Carolina we got to meet Amir Khoshnevis the Chief Strategist for Charlotte startup WeRx.org. They were one of the three finalists for the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. The winner was announced just before The Roots took the stage.

WeRx.org is an innovative crowdsourcing platform that would definitely be considered in the social entrepreneurship space. Khoshnevis and his co-founders discovered that people are paying way too much for their medication. Of course we’ve known this for years but what the WeRx team found was something that will blow most people’s minds away.

Take Lipitor for example. In it’s generic form the WeRX team found some pharmacies sold the drug for $11 and on the high end, $180 and that’s right in the Charlotte metro area. The unfortunate reality is that most people who require medication may do a limited cost comparison, and if they do they check the few pharmacies close by. If they can’t afford the cost of the medication close by they often decide to not take it. This can ultimately lead to death.

As another example Khoshnevis and the WeRx team found that in West Charlotte diabetes medications cost two to three times as much as they do in the Ballentine suburb of Charlotte. Why? Because the demographics skew more diabetic in West Charlotte.

So what did they do about this problem? They created WeRx which is a platform that allows people to crowdsource prescription prices. WeRx encourages those taking medications to input what they paid for it. Then then end users can geo-discover the best prescription prices and make the trip to  another pharmacy to get the best price.

Ultimately the idea is to build such a large platform that big pharmacy companies bring their pricing system back inline with each other.

WeRx gives those that report prices a feel good “pill heart” so they know they’ve done their part to help people find the medications they need and hopefully drive the cost of prescriptions down.

This idea was so good that the startup that launched just last week, won the $5,000 StartupRockon grant contest. There win was announced Monday evening at the StartupRockon party featuring The Roots.

An ecstatic Khoshnevis tracked me down by the bar so proud that such a socially important startup won the contest. They plan on putting the $5,000 right back into the company that they’ve been bootstrapping since inception.  Check out a video interview below with Khoshnevis just prior to the start of the party:


Check out WeRx here at werx.org

Here’s more DNC 2012 coverage brought to you by rawporter.com, and kiwi.ly

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” and we’re on a sneaker strapped road trip “everywhere else” more info here.

Raleigh Startup: Sprout Scores $20M Round For Female Viagra

If you’re in a relationship with a woman, whether it’s a long term relationship, marriage, or even same sex marriage, and your female partner tells you she’s not in the mood, a lot, it may not be you after all. A Raleigh NC based startup called Sprout may actually be able to help you and your partner, down the road if they get FDA approval.

In 1998 Pfizer rocked the market when they introduced Viagra the first commercially available medication for men with erectile dysfunction. Viagra spawned a new category of prescription medications that have now turned into a $5 billion dollar industry. No one thought about women though.

Female sexual dysfunction,  or low sexual desire is an actual problem. An Illinois based company called BioSante Pharmaceuticals suggests that as many as 43% of women between the ages of 18 and 59 experience some kind of female sexual dysfunction. The company made that statement based on figures published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. They project that female sexual dysfunction could turn into a $2 billion dollar a year industry.

Sprout, is working toward FDA approval for fibanserin a compound developed to treat hypoactive sexual disorder which is a form of female sexual dysfunction. Sprout purchased the compound from German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The FDA denied Boehringer approval of fibanserin in 2010.

Sprout’s Chief Commercial Officer Cynthia Whitehead thinks that Sprout will be more successful with FDA approval.  Whiethead told WRAL that there were “flawed metrics” in the first FDA submission by Boehringer. She went on to say “It will be a review issue,” she said. “We feel we have all of the data we need.”

Whitehead also said that Boehringer’s submission for fibarnserin was as a depression treatment.

Sprout has received a $20 million dollar angel investment from 59 angel investors, the same group of investors that backed Slate Pharmaceuticals which was the company that spun out Sprout.  The company will use the money to support their operations and growth. They will also use the money to hire regulatory personnel and scientists to work on the resubmission of the drug in 2013.

Source: WRAL


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 Nibletz.com

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
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