60-second start-up: Blottr

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Blottr is a user-generated news service that enables anyone to capture, report, collaborate and discover news as it's happening around them.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We are building the platform to license to third party publishers. We also sell CPM advertising against the page impressions our users generate for their stories as part of our Write To Earn scheme.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

In Europe, the main competitor is Demotix but their model is very different to our own. You could also include mainstream news services like the BBC, Guardian et al, as we are all driving our own news agendas and strive to engage a similar audience.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

There are three main areas:

•   The discovery of news stories that do not gain exposure anywhere else

•   The empowerment of people at the scene to capture and break their own stories, removing the inherent dependency on incumbent news organisations

•   And delivery of a collaborative news agenda contributed by many, over the full cycle of an event

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Privately funded by me to date.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was co-founder and MD at local search and voucher network BView.co.uk. I also founded UEP, a vertical search business, in January 2004. Before that I was CEO of LeatherXchange.com.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

During 9/11. I was amazed it took CNN (the first news service to break the story) six minutes to get coverage on the first tower, yet there were hundreds of people at the scene capturing footage without an outlet to show it.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Hire great people who know a lot more than I do.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

I'm a legend in my own office for being stupid, so it's a tricky one to single out any particular instance.  Probably turning down a £1m term sheet in a previous venture because I didn't want to give away lots of equity.

Lesson learnt? Having a large share of a lot is way better than 100% of not much.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

It would need to have nuts in it. I'm a nut freak and we're giving traditional publishers' a good kick in theirs...

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Non tech related, I love the Innocent Smoothie brand and how they have created excitement around it.

I also admire what Martin Lewis has done with Money Saving Expert, one of the strongest niche communities I've seen.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Hopefully still on track, with versions in multiple languages.

Find out more about Blottr

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