A mobile reporting tool for live sports coverage

We are building a mobile reporting tool that streamlines multimedia storytelling for live sports coverage.

How will your approach answer the journalism challenge you are trying to solve?

Mobile sports reporting is an inefficient process. Sports journalists have to use many different tools in the field to create pieces of a story. Assembling these pieces into a narrative stream requires additional steps and more time. This inefficiency limits the quantity and quality of stories that can be produced in the field. I am working with a team of developers to build Evrybit, a mobile reporting tool that streamlines live sports coverage and multimedia story production. Our tool will enable sports content producers to maximize the power of smartphones and tell more creative, diverse, richer stories. Our content will be embeddable on news sites, driving traffic to news outlets instead of to a third-party site.

Our target market is the sports industry: sports networks/media/news organizations, professional and college sports leagues/conferences/teams, and sports brands. Sports provide consistent live events and a consumer base hungry for constant updates. By boosting mobile reporting efficiency, professional content creators can produce more professional, comprehensive stories faster and better. A higher volume of high-quality stories equals stronger traffic, ratings and audience engagement. Increased consumption leads to increased monetization opportunities.

How is your approach different from what already exists?

Mobile-first news services like Circa, Quartz, and Yahoo News Digest serve consumers. Most real-time production tools like ScribbleLive and Tumblr were designed for Web first, then adapted for mobile, and have feature limitations. Single-point applications such as Tout, Instagram and Soundcloud exist to create pieces of a story on a smartphone. Platforms like Twitter and YouTube facilitate distribution but not storytelling.

Our application will combine the best of mobile tools and be a Swiss Army Knife for mobile reporting. Professional users will be able to gather content, edit content, and produce professional, interactive, complete stories in one place on smartphones using any type of media: original, archived, curated social or Web. Content can be distributed on mobile, websites and social channels, and shared with ease across organizational platforms through integration with content management systems. Mobile reporting and live storytelling no longer will be a cumbersome, time-consuming, sometimes impossible process.

What elements of your proposal have you already researched, tested or created?

We have tested our idea by conducting over 100 field interviews with content producers in the sports and news industry, and consumers outside of media. We have built interactive prototypes and conducted user testing. Based on the feedback, we are continuing to refine our system.

We presented a prototype to a major global sports media organization in December. They expressed interest in using our tool for future coverage.

Our product is in development. We expect to have our beta version prototype built within the next couple of weeks and will begin live testing.

What are your immediate next steps and your estimated timeline for completing them?

Our prototype (iOS app and server-side) is in development, and we plan to start live testing by April. We are discussing pilot projects with sports networks/media/news organizations and with journalism programs at Stanford, Boston University, New York University and the University of Oregon.

We are seeking a round of seed investment to finance further development. We are exploring fundraising options through grants, direct public offerings, angel investors, venture capitalists, and friends and family.

By May 2014, we aim to secure funding to continue our work beyond the fellowship.

What resources or advice do you need to complete those steps?

We are reaching out to experienced entrepreneurs who have launched media-related products and platforms. We are talking to sports publishers, media organizations, news producers, agents and brands to get feedback on the development of our tool. I also am a resident in the Stanford Venture Studio and am using Stanford Graduate School of Business resources to work through potential business and financing models.

We continue to hone our presentation skills, learn the ins and outs of all investment options and organizational structures, and better understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We always are looking for mentors and advisers with investment and entrepreneurial experience to provide guidance on the direction of our company and financing strategies.

Please list any collaborators, partners or significant (ongoing) outside advisers on your project.

What specific aspects of your project would you most like to receive feedback about?

We would love to hear about the experiences of people who use smartphones to create content. Once we have a beta version, we will gather feedback from beta testers to strengthen our product. If you are interested in learning more about our mobile reporting tool, please contact me at eortiz@stanford.edu.

You are viewing the refinement phase of a year long effort to resolve a challenge to journalism. Learn more about this challenge in the result phase of the process.