We sat down with Evan Nisselson, investor and founder of the LDV Vision Summit to find out more about this first of a kind event being held on June 4 in New York.
Why did you decide to create the LDV Vision Summit?
I have been involved in digital imaging and video companies for almost 20 years. I have been a photographer since I was 13 years old, then a photo editor, photo buyer, and have worked with great teams to build different technology businesses for consumer and professional photographers.
A goal of mine is to leverage technology for solving problems, entertaining and monetizing content. Along with other experts in this sector – we realized there is no global event that brings together the who’s who of the video and photo business sector: technology executives, media executives, brands, entrepreneurs, machine vision experts and investors.
This is the reason we decided to organize this Summit together and I am happy to be collaborating with industry experts Rebecca Paoletti, CakeWorks, Jan Erik Solem of Mapillary, and Serge Belongie, Prof. Cornell NYC Tech.
Digital photography and video technologies are revolutionizing how humans shop, entertain, and communicate. Simultaneously, all businesses are struggling to leverage the right solutions to evolve, adapt, or get disrupted by known and unknown competitors.
Since working in Silicon Valley in the mid ‘90s at @Home Network, I have watched for a long time that images and video were perceived as nice to have for businesses across the internet. However, recently they have finally become a significant revenue generator and starting to provide significant venture capital returns. We are starting to see very valuable technology companies which would not be valuable without that their foundation in images and video.
Many media companies have realized that they have to find interesting ways to leverage visual content and to increase revenue from content via new advertising and distribution methods or become disrupted by more savvy digital competitors.
Brands are leveraging technology services to improve their identity, track trends and increase their reach to sell more products.
However, it is difficult to understand which technology is the most valuable, most accurate, most efficient and which are providing the highest return on investment.
There is a lot of noise and difficult to find the high quality signals so we want to help with this Summit. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Pinterest, Gilt, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Taboola, Instagram, Youtube, Samsung and many more have realized that images and video can drive exponentially more value than text. This is why we believe it’s a great opportunity to bring the five key players of this business sector together into a one day summit: technology executives, startup founders, media and brand executives, computer vision experts and investors who historically have never been assembled in the same room.
We hope the attendees will learn from each other and help each other succeed. That is why we decided to create the LDV Vision Summit.
Why New York ?
We chose NYC for several reasons. One of the most important things about New York is that historically, it has been the global center of content creation, publishing, branding, marketing and in the last couple of years, there has been an exponential growth in start-ups in each of those sectors based in New York City.
Even some people are leaving Silicon Valley to build technology businesses in New York. Many European technology companies are opening their first US office in NYC instead of Silicon Valley. The technology sector center is still Silicon Valley but New York has quickly become number two in the United States if not the world. NYC is also unique because it’s in the middle of Europe and Silicon Valley.
We will have speakers from New York, Europe, Silicon valley and many international people are already buying tickets to join the summit.
We have worked in Silicon Valley, Europe and New York and we believe it is valuable to bring all of these people together along with their different DNA and interests in imaging and video. Additionally my LDV Capital fund is based in NYC even though we invest in imaging and video businesses and business to business software services in Europe and North America.
Evan Nisselson speaking at the TNW Amsterdam last week
What would be a key sign of success?
I think the ultimate success is a combination of things: helping educate and empower the visual communications ecosystem, help media companies look for the right technology solutions to leverage their content to increase revenue, brands want to learn how to best create or source content to more efficiently market their brand, startups to find investors to help them succeed, recruiting opportunities and machine vision experts to show the ecosystem how their algorithms can help empower and increase revenue for the whole ecosystem.
A core success would be deals initiated at the event. I think many people will come and have a learning experience because they might not yet understand all the potential that many of these start-ups are starting to deliver.
We will have photographer and videographers inspiring, panels, keynotes, a startup competition and entrepreneurial computer vision challenges. We are really excited to be trying something unique and we hope it works. Computer vision challenges are typically done at separate events but computer vision has become a core of this business sector and we want to highlight its importance. We are excited to have entrepreneurial image recognition challenges where teams will prove their expertise in solving challenges in computer vision on images and video. And that’s a very unique approach.
We have over 30 incredible speakers confirmed for the event and I am also excited to learn from them.
In summary, I think the business deals, recruiting, finding customers, being inspired and raising capital are the 6 metrics we will be closely watching.
Will the Summit be in Europe next?
We have not made plans yet. The goal is to focus on New York first, see how it goes and then consider other places. People have already asked me to do it elsewhere but for now I just want to make New York the best experience possible. The goal is to bring the right people together.
So if we believe that there is an opportunity elsewhere to do the same, we would be open to that. Additionally, I do monthly entrepreneurs dinners here in New York as well to try and help the ecosystem. Those are 30 entrepreneurs dinners, all executives half men, half women and we rotate people every single months. We have partial sponsorship from Silicon Valley Bank and Orrick Law Firm. There are about 300 entrepreneurs in this group and our goal is similar: meet new people, have fun,help each other succeed and hopefully improve the world we live in. I was born in New York city and I try to give back to the local community as much as possible.
Last thought ?
This is an ambitious event and we are excited to collaborate with the community to make it a success.
Kaptur has 20 tickets at 40% off for its readers . But hurry up, they are going fast . Make sure your register today ( Discount code = Kaptur) before they are all gone….
You can register here : http://www.visionsummit.net
Author: Paul Melcher
Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.