After converting family wedding photos and home movies into usable digital formats, DePaul University student David Finseth wanted to see if he could find a profitable business model for the service.
Finseth and his childhood friends, Alex Dahm and Cody Kaluza, who are also students, came up with Media Revamp (http://mediarevamp.com), a business that converts outdated VHS tapes into DVDs and scans photographs and uploads them to Flickr or Facebook, among other platforms.
“We wanted to fill the gap between old technology and new technology. It’s really about convenience,” said Finseth, a sophomore in the theatre arts program at DePaul who founded the business in June 2010.
“The company itself grew out of my own problems dealing with old media formats,” Finseth said. “After converting all of my extended family’s wedding photos and home movies, I decided to try selling my services locally and online.”
Media Revamp was the sole winner in the seventh annual Launch DePaul contest, DePaul’s annual student and alumni new venture competition for business and non-profits sponsored by the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business. Five finalists discussed the progress they made on their business plans during the competition with a panel of entrepreneurship judges who convened at DePaul March 23.
Describing the creators of Media Revamp as “sharp, energetic and prepared,” judges said the trio came up with a profitable business and had a “great understanding of metrics,” said April Lane, associate director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center.
For its victory, Media Revamp will receive $2,000 in cash; an individual mentoring session from a prominent local entrepreneur; a company presentation at Technori Pitch, a monthly entrepreneurial event that hosts 500 guests; an exhibition table at Tech Week; and a potential presentation to a local angel network (industry dependent).
During the four-month competition, teams were interviewed and their venture plans evaluated by a team made up of DePaul professors and local entrepreneurs. In the final week leading up to their presentations before outside judges, teams worked to make as much progress as possible on their ventures. Judging was based on their accomplishment of pre-determined milestones as well as the viability of their ventures.
In the final week before the presentation before the judges, Finseth, Dahm and Kaluza concentrated full-time on hitting their milestones, including opening a storefront for Media Revamp at 3047 N. Lincoln Ave.
“The advice we got from the judges during all three rounds of the competition was particularly helpful,” Finseth said. “The feedback we got strengthened our business model and will shape our future goals.”
An extension of the Driehaus College of Business entrepreneurship academic program, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center helps students launch and grow their own ventures through a virtual incubator and an annual new venture competition.
The center aims to be the premier online community and resource for business owners looking to strategically grow their businesses.