Live video tells you if the joint is jumpin’
Using a live feed streaming video in local entertainment venues, the team behind a new platform is envisioning a revolutionary way for individuals to base their decisions on how to spend their evenings out.
Start Garden, the capital seed fund located at 50 Louis St. NW, recently selected Klubcams for a $5,000 investment as part of its weekly investment program connecting entrepreneurs to social, financial and intellectual resources in the area.
The most recent addition to Start Garden’s startup program, Klubcams incorporates a live video feed of bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues which enables users to view what is happening at a location in real time. The video feed is then accessible for individuals to view through an application download on online and mobile platforms, including web browser, iPhone and Android.
Kamron Kennedy, chief technology officer and co-founder of Klubcams, said the live video benefits both businesses and consumers by exposing existing and different segments of patrons to the type of environment at the different establishments. Klubcams can help individuals make a decision based on how full a place is and assist venues in gaining a different audience, according to Kennedy.
“There is a good target audience of bar patrons who would rather go to a place that was not shoulder-to-shoulder. If that bar is known for being busy all the time, they are losing out on that clientele base, because people are just assuming they are busy and can’t go there right now,” said Kennedy. “It will increase the amount of new business bars and clubs will be able to get, because it is tapping into the same market, but from a different angle, and providing patrons a convenient eye in before having to leave and go all the way there themselves.”
The idea for Klubcams developed when Kennedy was approached to develop a taxi cab application for bars and clubs, which allow individuals to hail a cab and see a live GPS feed of the vehicle approaching.
“I, of course, voiced that would require a lot of hardware to each and every cab driver and we were then in discussion of live feeds of some type of data going to a user,” said Kennedy. “Between my two co-founders and me, the idea came about to start providing live video feeds of bars and clubs so people could get a feel for the environment at the different places around town.”
With the initial $5,000 investment granted by Start Garden, the team at Klubcams will use the funds to purchase approximately 28 cameras to distribute to bars and clubs in Lansing and East Lansing, and put the remaining finances into promotional marketing materials and advertising. As a registered partner with Access Communications for the cameras, Kennedy said purchasing more cameras will result in a cheaper price, but the team is maintaining a conservative number at this point.
“Our plan is to have roughly 30 cameras and give them out to bars and clubs here in Lansing and East Lansing,” said Kennedy. “The remainder of the money is going to go into signs and Facebook advertising targeting Lansing; various promotional products such as table tents; and informational stickers to go on windows.”
Upon purchasing and distributing the cameras, Kennedy hopes to have a soft market launch by the end of the month using friends, family members and an existing fan base as the initial audience. After approximately a two-week beta test, Klubcams will be available to the general market and begin its marketing and advertising campaign.
“This is a huge stepping stone for us, because … it is giving us the size of catalog we want for our launch as well as the estimated ROI from just the one city, (which) will pay for the next city,” said Kennedy in reference to receiving funding from Start Garden and return on investment.
During the soft launch, the application will be available for download with no advertisements at a price of 99 cents, with the price rising to $1.99 for the grand launch. Klubcams will be available for free with advertisements, and as the catalog grows the paid version is anticipated to increase incrementally to $7.99 as the application goes national, according to Kennedy.
“The current strategy we have is all of the advertising money and all the paid version download money coming in from the existing cameras is going to be essentially saved up until we have the equivalent amount that we had for Lansing to launch in a city, say like Grand Rapids,” said Kennedy. “Our expansion plan as of now is all money made from our existing catalog is going to be put right into the catalog in different cities.”
The full Klubcams team includes R.J. Johnson, chief financial officer who oversees finance, human resources and legal operations; David Ordway, chief executive officer leading marketing and communications; and Kennedy, who is the lead developer and technical architect.