An authentic journey into the world of startups through the eyes of 5 early stage companies and veteran entrepreneurs.
Update: I am adding more interviews!
While the core of this project is the story of five companies in an accelerator (more about them below), I want to include the perspectives of a variety of innovators across the country, and maybe even internationally. To do this, I am interviewing entrepreneurs and innovators to share their stories and insights.
What is startupland?
startupland is a documentary series that weaves together the stories of five early stage tech companies in an accelerator together with stories and insights from entrepreneurs and innovators around the country. The vision is to inspire and educate entrepreneurs on the ins and outs, ups and downs, successes and failures of starting and building a company.
There has been plenty of hype surrounding startups. Built online and on-screen, this hype portrays the startup world as glamorous and fun. Startupland shows the real startup life; where the risk, hard work, and pressure challenge founders everyday. However, Startupland also depicts that passionate founders in pursuit of their dreams can change the world, despite the many obstacles.
The series is also complemented by interviews and discussions with successful and experienced founders, entrepreneurs, and investors, who provide valuable knowledge throughout the series.
Who am I and why am I doing this?
I'm Justin Gutwein (goot•wine). I've been making short documentaries for about 8 years. I've traveled in Africa, Jamaica and all around the US telling other people's stories. Most of my work has been for organizations like Eli Lilly & Co, Kiwanis, Ford and a wide variety of startups.
I felt that there was something "off" about the way startups have been portrayed in movies and tv shows, often being portrayed as all ping-pong and parties or overly dramatically difficult. So, I decided it was time to tell a story that I felt passionate about, the true story of building a company.
I believe that startups and entrepreneurs hold the keys to true innovation and change. I believe that this happens in every city and small town across the country and around the globe. I believe that accurately portraying what it's like for the average person to build a company will inspire and educate entrepreneurs everywhere. I believe startupland is the global community of all kinds of entrepreneurs from tech to local coffee shops, and I believe in startupland.
What do you mean documentary series?
Startupland is going to be a documentary series. We will be distributing it digitally, directly to our viewers. This will allow viewers to consume the content at their own pace on their laptop, mobile, tablet or set top box.
Just like Netflix original content, each episode will vary in length. The average runtime will be around 15-20 minutes, and I am expecting the total run time to be around 4 hours.
Whether you are an investor, entrepreneur, or aspiring founder. Learn from the ups and downs of real companies going through different stages of growth. Get a behind the scenes view of what entrepreneurship is really about.
The Featured Storylines
Aneet Makin - CEO of (Leg)Cyte: After working for 5 years on Capitol Hill, Aneet saw the opportunity to make government work more effectively and efficiently. This idea became Legcyte.
Marty Bauer- CEO of RidePost Experienced in both public organizations and a consumer product startup, Marty traveled the world while earning his MBA. His time in Europe made him realize the opportunity to disrupt US travel with ridesharing.
Elise Whang- CEO of Snobswap: A lawyer turned entrepreneur, Elise and her co-founder decided to follow their passion in fashion by starting an online marketplace to swap, sell and buy 'pre-loved' designer clothing.
JD Chang- CEO of Trendpo: With a decorated background including time in film, fashion and at Rovi, JD changed what started as a fantasy politics game into something more serious, Trendpo.
Dave Aidekman-CEO of TripTribe: From Harvard to the White House, Dave is used to big vision including overseeing a $60b budget. Dave turned what started as an email list organizing travel with friends into TripTribe, the social marketplace for group travel.
Why I Need Your Help
So far, I have done all shooting, storylines, rough edits, etc myself. Now I need a little help to finish production and get through post-production.
The money raised on Kickstarter will allow me to travel, visit and interview entrepreneurs from across the country. It will also allow me to pay more talented people than I to produce high quality graphics and animation (these will help visually breakdown things like cap tables, fundraising, etc), a soundtrack (the right music is so important!) and other standard post opearations (sweetening, grading, etc).
Please share this kickstarter and tell your friends about the Startupland project. I hope that startupland teaches and inspires dreamers and innovators throughout the world.
A dream you dream alone is just a dream. A dream we dream together is reality. -John Lennon
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Our challenge is to convert the captured footage into a storyline that is both educational and entertaining.
We have the aggressive goal of premiering in the Fall of 2013. Your support will help us to achieve our deadlines and produce valuable content that will inspire entrepreneurs everywhere.
You will receive two tickets to the premiere in Washington, DC.