As the Business Development team for Comcast Ventures, Greg and I have interesting jobs that straddle financial focus and relationship building — a mix of right brain and left brain thinking. The startups we work with are all in a race against time for growth. We can support them in multiple ways. First, we are operators ourselves and have both worked in growth-focused and constantly changing environments. We can appreciate the needs of the startups we work with and the needs of our colleagues within Comcast and NBCUniversal. Seeing both sides of the equation gives us unique insights, allowing us to help with introductions, distribution, promotion, trials and even customers. No one else can offer up the strategic advice and support that we can and do.
This past quarter, we’ve facilitated hundreds of meetings between our portfolio company entrepreneurs and Comcast and NBCUniversal executives. One example is BodyMedia partnering with The Biggest Loser to supply their on-body monitoring device for this past season. They received product placement and promotion which resulted in orders of magnitude improvement in sales conversion rates on web site visits. Videology ran a test with Fandango and Universal Pictures on marketing the movie release "Mama", which generated higher conversion rates from their targeting capabilities.
Many of these opportunities resulted from one of the most unique meetings that Comcast and NBCUniversal holds, "Symphony." Held several times a year on the Saturday Night Live set, 100+ executives at every brand level collaborate on big, company wide initiatives and Comcast Ventures has the opportunity to showcase our entrepreneurs. Steve Ellis, CEO of WhoSay recently presented their story, which lead to pitching the marketing counsel and on to individual brand discussions, like NBCSports to get ideas implemented.
Our efforts don’t stop there. We host pitch sessions with NBCUniversal’s ad agency, Ignited, where portfolio companies have the opportunity to tell their story to over 50 Ignited & NBCUniversal execs. We coordinate internal demo days, most recently with DocuSign, to get business units using their products. And, several technology trials are in the field with EdgeConneX, Benu Networks and TelyLabs.
Our roles allow us to back channel, drive quick follow through, help execute & showcase value for entrepreneurs. Engaging startups with the incredible Comcast and NBCUniveral platform creates game-changing opportunities that leave the left side of our brain with many results to analyze!
This post was co-authored by Kim Armor and Greg Bae, FMLP Manager