Skit!
Location: 46 Savary Ave, Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts 02562, United States United States
Founded in: 2012
Stage: Beta (public testing)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 01/2013, Seed: $118 k
Investors: Jason Seats
Short URL: vator.co/skit
Followers (112)

Skit!

Tell Your Story
Startup/business
Massachusetts, United States United States
http://skitapp.com

With our Skit! app, anyone can use their latest photos, Facebook friends, or quick drawings to tell an impressive, animated story. It’s even easy to add your own voice, or to pick a soundtrack. Share with your friends, or publish for the entire world to see: Skits are remixable, continuable, and tons of fun! Tell your Story!

About
Activities
News
Company description

TechStars Demo Day video

TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 article

 Problem:

Everyone finds mobile/tablet ads extremely annoying.  The heat map studies prove that.  Ad prices on mobile/tablet is a fraction of that on PC.  As mobile usage overtakes PC usage, online ad industry may have only a few quarters to search for innovative ways to engage users before revenue growth slows significantly.

Solution:
Mobile/tablet ads has not been and will not be the right format.  We believe product placement in compelling and viral user-generated animated story will become the holy grail mobile ad industry is searching for.  We see the eyes of ad sales and media executives light up with excitement and possibilities when they see our product demo in action.

Product:
With our Skit! app and cloud platform, anyone can use their latest photos, Facebook friends, or quick drawings to tell an impressive, animated story.  Drag and drop background and characters, add stunning effects, animate by dragging characters, and add your own voice or soundtrack.

Then, share with your friends via email or Facebook, or publish to YouTube directly!

Not feeling creative? Just browse through user-generated videos, and if you like a video, you don't have to start from scratch, you can just remix a story or continue a story, like magic.

Tell a story, make a birthday / Xmas animated card, create a company product intro video, create a viral funny animated ad, or role-play action figures.  Your imagination is the limit.   Skit! app and cloud platform turn your iPad into your personal South Park or Pixar studio.

Team:
Robin Johnson, co-founder/CEO, previously at Electronics Art (Medal of Honors) and Trilogy Studios (Kung Fu Panda World).

Max Woon, co-founder, previously co-founder of Xfire (acquired by Viacom/MTV for $102m in 2006).

Accelerator:
TechStars

Advisor:
Micah Baldwin, CEO, Graphicly

 



Team
  • Robin Johnson
    Robin Johnson | Team member
    Founder/CEO of Skit! (Storytime Studios, Inc) • Worked at @Electronic Arts, @Digital Domain, @Sony Imageworks • Studied at @University of Massachusetts, Amherst: BFA-Animation and BS-Computer Science.
  • Max Woon
    Max Woon | Team member
    co-founder Skit! (TechStars alum, http://skitapp.com); co-founder Xfire (acquired by Viacom/MTV for $102m in 2006)
Business model

1)
The Skit! Marketplace allows advertising agencies and digital rights holders to monetize branded content on touch devices in a way that uniquely engages audiences. Users will share stories of their favorite brands, such as characters from The Walking Dead.

Update: We've been accepted into a program with a large studio to facilitate this type of content engagement. More news on this next week! 

2)
We offer in-app purchasing of premium content, and app functionality upgrades (longer Skits, fewer ads, etc.). 

3)
Fully branded Skit! experiences (white label). We're in discussions with a number of businesses and are exploring this type of integration. 

 

Competitive advantage

1: Team
Animation is hard, time consuming and complicated, but it doesn't have to be. With Robin's extensive background in animation pipelines (Electronic Arts) and mobile app development (Trilogy Studios), along with Max's background in computational algorithms (CERN, NASA, Cambridge) and game servers (Xfire), our team can break down the animation barriors to entry, making it easy for everyone to be creative together, through animated stories.

2: Tech
The technology we've developed is blazing fast, cross platform (android, windows, ios) and highly scalable on the backend.

3: Approach
Skit! is built as a game engine, but used for storytelling.  Therefore, game features and multiplayer interactivity comes natural.  Far better approach than building a story app and trying to make a game out of it.  

 

Questions and Answers

Q: How will you get to 1M users? 

A:

1) First 1000 will come naturally, friends and family, etc. 

2) We'll rocket to 10,000 with just a few small, controlled announcements:  Demo Day, TechSA Clip, Angel List trending. 

3) We'll reach 100,000 downloads by setting a few highly targeted "fires" that will spread within specific social communities. 

+ NewGrounds, DeviantArt, and Dribble forum posts
+ Topical Posts related to TMZ, IcanHaz, LifeHacker
+ App Discovery platforms like HeyZap, gree.net, Mobage, etc.
+ At some point we'll also be featured by Apple in one of their various sections.
+ Interns will make quality skit content featuring writing from local comedians and writers.


4) The climb from 100k to 1M is less about the downloads, more about the traction. This will take a more strategic path:

+ Daily contests and challenges, some for prizes, some for fame.
+ New social features will connect the community  (remix, following, live)
+ Coordinated reviews from bloggers and thought leaders will hit at an ideal time.
+ Fresh content releases timed with movie launches.
+ Targeted local advertising: Bars, Karaoke, Improv and Comedy Clubs. We will also consider licensing certain IP if it makes sense to do so (e.g. Angry Birds).

5) Critical Mass will occur when the number of shares, and remixes can be correlated to the number of new downloads and other activity. This is the point of self sustaining growth, given the "fuel" of fresh, topical content including advertiser brands.


6) Going Beyond: Explosive growth points:+ When a Skit! goes viral
+ When Celebs Skit!
+ When top-tier content is released (DreamWorks deals)
+ When contests and tournaments are held
+ Particular Calendar dates like Thanksgiving and Easter
+ Other platform releases and upgrades.
+ New partnerships and brand extensions: Skit.TV, Skit.IM.  etc.

 

Investors
Jason Seats
Managing Director of TechStars Cloud, Slicehost founder & Rackspace Alumnus