All contestants:
NewsiT LLC
Location: Affinity Lab, 920 U St NW , Washington, District Of Columbia 20001, United States United States
Founded in: 2011
Stage: 1.0 (formal launch)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 10/2012, Seed: $468 k (post valuation: $3468000).
- Date: 02/2012, Seed: $500 k (post valuation: $2500000).
Investors: Sandra P Kresch, P. Chrisman Eribe, Chris Wittstock, Melinda Wittstock, George Foote
Short URL: vator.co/newsit-llc
Followers (17)
Awards and mentions
11679_664
NewsiT was one of five companies chosen by the Paley Center for Media to present at 'The Next Big Thing' in March 2012. Watch the video via this URL.
11679_663
NewsiT won the Venture Association of New Jersey (VANJ) 'Elevator Pitch Olympics' for the highest overall score of 100 companies on "fundability" and pitch.
11679_662
NewsiT was one of three companies to win New York City's UltraLight StartUps competition in October 2011.
11679_661
NewsiT, then known as "Assign It", was judged 'the future of news' in this March 2010 contest. NewsiT won $25,000 for the initial concept of its mobile crowd-reporting platform, besting more than 250 start-ups in the contest.

NewsiT LLC

Your Crowd, Your Story
Startup/business
District Of Columbia, United States United States
http://www.newsit.net

NewsiT is a mobile ‘big data’ platform for real-time algorithmic validation of original crowd-sourced content for brands, campaigns, media seeking to attract and retain committed consumers. People connect around interests they share and people they trust to get more relevant and accurate information – and valuable conversations with other users.

About
Activities
News
Company description

NewsiT’s mobile and social platform verifies original crowd-sourced content in real time to help media, campaigns and brands attract targeted and committed consumers.

End-users get more relevant and accurate real time information – and valuable conversations with other users. People connect around interests they have in common to create, verify and share original content. NewsiT’s mobile, tablet and web crowd-sourcing apps enable anyone to report and share key story elements in text, video and photos. NewsiT algorithms, rating and reputation scoring systems and fact-checkers interact with smart NewsiT communities to guarantee veracity, quality, relevance and influence.

NewsiT drives early and recurring revenue by licensing its technology, processes and crowd-sourcing software to media, campaigns and brands to help them retain and attract highly-targeted and committed consumers. A ‘plug & play’ mobile SDK and web API provides NewsiT partners with a crowd-reporting user interface customizable by topic, location, and style – powered by sophisticated algorithms and processes to vet, validate and reward both original contributions and raw content mined from Twitter, YouTube and other sources. Partners bring their existing users into NewsiT communities, while attracting new users via the NewsiT platform. NewsiT scales by enabling self-propelling communities worldwide, monetized by targeted contextual advertising and sponsorship.

Who wins? Consumers - and the brands, businesses, media, affinity groups and others that want to reach them 24/7.

NewsiT is a distributed solution that scales across multiple verticals worldwide with two primary sources of revenue: 

Step 1 - Platform Licensing Fees: Media, brands, affinity groups, agencies and businesses license our technology (algorithms, business processes, consumer-facing mobile/tablet/web APIs and analytics) to get quality content, reduce costs, grow, retain and reward users, and open new revenue streams as consumers move mobile.

Step 2 – Sponsorship & Advertising: Partners bring their own pre-existing online networks and marketing to help NewsiT scale self-propelling communities aggregated by shared interest, creating a an efficient and effective market for sponsors and advertisers to target specific users cross-platform around valuable verticals.

NewsiT has the right team to deliver on a strong plan: CEO and founder Melinda Wittstock is a proven entrepreneur, results driver, social media expert and award-winning journalist. From the Times of London, BBC, CNBC to Capitol News Connection and NewsiT, she's driven traffic, revenue and ratings, built teams and businesses, sold licensing deals and advertising, and sweated many a payroll. Her team includes talented engineers across iOS, Ruby and Big Data, including CTO Craig Zingerline,and proven revenue drivers like Matt Prohaska, former SVP of Digital Advertising at AOL, who has sold or managed teams selling $2.5BN of advertising in 12 years. Advisers include Duncan Work, former Chief Scientist of LinkedIn, and Kevin Survance, former CTO of MapQuest.

NewsiT is on track to close licensing deals Q1 2013 worth $100,000 in the quarter – with a substantial pipeline of committed media, affinity and other customers.

Market trends heavily favor NewsiT prospects as social becomes ‘interest’ and ‘trust’ focused, and a $100BN annual US news advertising spend (and other vertical ad budgets addressed by NewsiT’s focus on consumer, health, small business, politics, environment, etc)– moves online/mobile. Mobile represents a $20BN+ opportunity in the US (KPCB). More than 107m Americans have smart-phones and 55m+ own tablets, with 25% getting news via mobile.

Consumers are migrating away from traditional media and creating their own content and relationships focused on what interests them. But much of this content is unreliable, irrelevant and repetitive and media, brands, and affinity groups lack efficient means to verify user-generated content made ubiquitous by social networks.  Media groups are unable to sustain quality or respond quickly to the mobile migration of consumers given cost pressures. NewsiT provides an ‘end-to-end’ integrated solution that enables partners to grow/retain users, cut costs and boost revenue.

No other company has found an automated and scalable way to create and validate user-generated content of trust and personal relevance in real time at low cost. NewsiT is differentiated from other user-generated sites (NowPublic, AllVoices, Newsvine, CNN iReport, Reddit), social curating platforms (Flipboard, Instapaper, Storify, Flud), aggregators (Feedly, Prismatic, Google News, Pulse) and destination sites, by being first to:

— Deploy pattern recognition, predictive, natural language and other algorithms to real-time validation of raw content and source reputation

— Incentivize and reward user posts via reputation scoring, rating, game layer & recognition

— Create network effects around content creation and systems for trusted reciprocal conversation

— Cut through ‘information overload’ to unearth nuggets of valuable information ‘gold’

NewsiT is raising $3mm in Series A. Proceeds will be used primarily for Go to Market Execution (hiring and support for key sales/BD, engagement and revenue generating personnel) and Platform Enhancement (‘Next Gen’ Algorithms & Processes, iPad and Android SDK, ongoing UX improvements and implementation of 'reputation scoring' systems).

 


Team
  • Melinda Wittstock
    Melinda Wittstock | Team member
    My grandmother told me I was 'disruptive' when at 5 I launched my first business. I'm an entrepreneur and award winning journalist who's driven traffic and revenue across TV, radio, print and web.
  • Matt Prohaska
    Matt Prohaska | Team member
Business model

There are two primary sources of revenue: 

Platform Licensing: We solve a major problem for media, brands and businesses. They license our technology – algorithms, innovative business processes, consumer-facing mobile/tablet/web SDK and analytics – to get quality content, reduce costs, grow and retain users and open new revenue streams as consumers move mobile.

Sponsorship: Partners harness existing users to help build NewsiT ‘communities of interest’ for sponsors and brands to target cross-platform across valuable verticals around reliable quality content.

Competitive advantage

No meaningful company has found an automated and scalable way to apply big data analytics, crowd-sourcing software and a social game layer to validate raw user-generated content in real time to create original, quality news of personal relevance at low cost.

NewsiT is differentiated from other user-generated sites (NowPublic, AllVoices, Newsvine, RawPower, CNN iReport and others), social curating platforms (Flipboard, Instapaper, Storify, Flud), aggregators (Feedly, Google News, Pulse, Trove, News 360 and many others) and destination sites, by being the first to:

— Deploy big data analytics, pattern recognition and other algorithms to real-time editing/QA across social media and its own platform

— Incentivize and reward user contribution via reputation scoring & game layer

— Cut through the social information overload to identify the valuable nuggets of actionable, relevant information

- Create powerful network effects around content creation and collaboration, as well as a powerful automated user acquisition tool.