We are doing a series of Q&A features around Austin-based companies that are launching their company or their product at SXSW 2014. If you’d like to be featured as well, please use the Submit News button. Today’s feature is with Andre Pacheco, co-founder of SecondMic.
Q: Explain what you do in a way that my mom can understand?
SecondMic is an app that lets anyone listen to smart alternative commentary while watching a sports game or show live on TV. We give voice to experts, athletes and fans to share their perspective and insight with TV viewers, directly through the app. Launch SecondMic, select the TV show and press Play to stream commentary in real-time with the TV, no delay. Once listeners tune in to a channel, they can interact not only with each other in real time with the game on TV, but with the commentator as well, who may then answer questions and mention it during the alternative broadcast.
Q: What was your “lightbulb” moment when you knew you had something?
I was grabbing lunch with my co-founder and we realized that we both mute our TVs and turn on the radiocast during a sports game. SecondMic was born when we learned that other die-hard fans do something similar. In an increasingly social world, TV only provides a one-way conversation. SecondMic is complementary to the world of television because it gives fans an opportunity to listen to multiple points-of-view on the game or show they are watching.
Q: Who are the hard working geniuses behind the company?
Francisco Prat and Andre Pacheco are the founders at SecondMic. We met eight years ago at Columbia Business School. Coincidentally we both went on to work on the same team at UBS after graduation. We left corporate life a few years later to start our own businesses. Francisco is an engineer and built two startups before SecondMic. Andre has a background in advertising and helped build one of the largest independent ad agencies in Brazil.
Q: We’ll know we made it when:
When we can watch a Knicks game and listen to live commentary from Spike Lee. Or a boxing match narrated by Mike Tyson. Or the Oscars with live commentary by Ricky Gervais.
Q: Who are some of your first customers?
Our first three live commentators were a former professional basketball player, a popular basketball coach, and a reporter from a large NJ newspaper who happens to be a die-hard Knicks fan. Each gamecast had its own unique personality, developed by a combination of the commentator’s dynamism, fan interaction, and the actual game or show being played out. It’s amazing to see that a new point-of-view on a game or TV show can spark renewed enthusiasm among fans and attract more TV viewers.