Launchfest - It's Great Media

Seen at Launchfest: 41 Startups Made of Awesome

Emily Cohan of It’s Great Media talks about her experiences at LaunchFest 2014:

LaunchFest is challenging to describe – but the main word that comes to mind is “WOW.” This year’s LaunchFest, held at the Design Concourse in San Francisco in February did not disappoint. Basically, if you have any interest in startups or new technology, this is the conference to be at. With fantastic keynotes, fireside chats and panelists – not to mention the demo pits chalk full of exciting new startups and technologies, this conference is a place where ideas get shared, deals get made, and new companies get their big launch day.

Some my favorites highlights were getting to see actual 3-d printed human baby heart ventricles, an interactive projection screen made out of dry-fog (see below), and Mark Cuban’s keynote talk. But surely the headline act at this festival are the companies that are launching. So here are 41 companies that I saw at Launchfest – some of them are life changers, some of them take on smaller challenges, and some of them are just plain awesome. Check them out.

41 Startups at Launchfest:

Aerscreen - It's Great MediaAerScreen – rView

This was one of our favorite demos. We would like to see this screen at Digital Signage Expo next year.

This is an interactive screen made of dry fog. The fog is made air and water particles – non-damaging to walls or ceilings. Definitely a showstopper piece. They will be showcasing at Maker’s Faire next year.

PartenderAerscreen - It's Great

Partender was one of the most well thought out, user tested, niche-driven apps we saw at LaunchFest. It’s an app that revolutionizes how bars do inventory – first by letting them record what bottles are on what shelves in what order – but then letting the user visually tap to record what level the liquid is to more accurately estimate amounts left in partial bottles. This makes inventory process both faster and more accurate. Well done, Partender.

Uopia - It's Great

Uopia has made the best looking LED light spectrum I’ve ever seen. They are also using sleep science use light frequencies to help your sleep cycles with their LED night-lights. Co-founded by UCSC alum, Brandon Williams. They need funding, so support their Kickstarter campaign:

Uopia Kickstarter:

Lucidlife - It's Great

LucidLife is a social app that is meant to connect users to the topics they care about – and their demo made this process look easy and enjoyable. I think there is potential for LucidLife to thrive in the professional social market.

Opensilo - It's Great

OpenSilo takes the challenge of having open company discussions and using those discussions to create a company knowledge base. We’ve actually tackled this problem more than once with a few of our past web clients – and it is no easy task. OpenSilo is developing a UI that makes it easy for employees to collaborate, and then make the solutions part of the standard knowledge-base.

Butler Moto Maps - It's Great MediaButler Motorcycle

Butler Maps is launching their new app and social site soon, and boy am I excited about this one. Since I learned how to ride, nine years ago, I have been yearning for the GPS that would show me the twistiest roads while out for a ride. Several cross-country rides later, I all but gave up on a system that would do that, let alone track my rides to share with friends and family, allow my Ninja 250 club plan rides together, and provide info about attractions, services and places to eat along the way – these guys nailed it. I can’t wait to use this – way to go!

PressFriendly - It's Great

This startup bridges the gap between companies wanting to share information and the press. Their service comes with online tools like press opportunity lists, story wizards and phone time with a PR rep. This service could help a lot of startups run more successful PR campaigns for an affordable price.

* sidenote – Pressfriendly wasn’t demoing at Launchfest, but they were attendees and we thought they were worth including.

Immersalabs - It's Great

ImmersaLabs is developing a phone case that is a game controller. I got to test out their prototype, and it was pretty cool. They put a lot of thought into how to make the controller as functional as possible, and, of course, fun for playing games.

Findmysong - It's Great

This is a music based social site that not only helps musicians get discovered, but also helps musicians find eachother – bandmates, collaborators and such. Great idea!

Adenda - It's Great

Adenda is an ad revenue solution for Android apps. This lets you show ads on the Android lock screen – Adenda handles the ad management and they take a surprisingly low percentage of ad revenue. As long as users aren’t too annoyed, this may turn into a great way for app-developers to generate extra money for their apps.

Kiind - It's Great

Kiind is an online gift card system that only charges you when the giftcard recipient actually uses the card. Great idea!

Amazi - It's Great

Amazi is an app that lets you see where there is free water along your walking or running routes. They also plan on branching out to similar areas like water filtration systems. Considering SF just banned sales of plastic water bottles, I think there will be some interesting market shifts for water, and I think Amazi is up for the challenge.

Tinkered - It's Great

TinkerED is a portal that connects developers working on education tech with actual educators – this connection has been typically missing in a lot of education related tech projects.

ubiome - It's Great

uBiome does home micro-biology testing kits. You collect the sample and send it back to the lab. You can use the results to learn about yourself, or participate in research studies. This kit costs $89.

Commitchange - It's Great

CommitChange is changing how non-profits handle donations and CRM. They’ve put a lot of research into their UI to encourage both higher donation amounts and higher number of repeat-donors.

Wonolo - It's Great

Wonolo changes how people handle temp workers – the idea that is there is an employment base, and when you post an order for a temp worker, the first qualified person to accept the job gets the job. The benefit to the employer is much cheaper rates for temp workers and being able to order temp help online.

Suiteness - It's Great

Suiteness is an app that fills high-end hotel rooms usually reserved for VIPs and celebs on a last minute basis at discount rates.

Martin Jet Pack - It's Great MediaMartin

The Martin JetPack is the real deal. Burns 10 gal/hr (compared to 6 gal/hr of a Cessna 150 airplane) – has half hour tank capacity, and uses premium gasoline you can find at any gas station. Uses a computer to fly – eliminating user error. I totally want one – don’t you?

Distil Networks - It's Great MediaDistil

Distil Networks is creating devices to block bad bots – protecting websites from scraping, data mining, form spam and click fraud.

Tycoon - It's Great

Tycoon does analytics differently. They take your data and explain it real English so that your team can use it more quickly and effectively.

Portfolia - It's Great

Portfolia is a new kind of angel list that has a major focus on women. They also have a design lab to help get feedback immediately on ideas before launching or campaigning for funds. Portfolia was one of the most talked about companies during LaunchFest.

Userbin - It's Great

Userbin handles user security for app development so startups don’t have to.

Youcruit - It's Great

Youcruit will change the way your company does HR. It’s kind of like they invented a Basecamp just for handling job applications and hiring communications. They are already being used in Sweden and are spreading to the US. We’re looking forward to using their free account in our next hiring round this Summer.

SourceBits - It's Great

Do you have an idea for an awesome app? Take it to Sourcebits and let them build it for you.

Ensa - It's Great

Ensa is an app that is designed to be a personal digital health assistant – connecting all of your health and fitness apps to access to doctors and medical records.

Badu NetworksEnsa - It's Great MediaBADU

BADU Networks is giving early access to users for PingFOG, a wireless optimizer. Their goal is to change how people connect to wireless. I know from our experience at Cruzioworks, having fast wireless can make a huge difference on daily online tasks – so we’re excited to see whether their product is a success.

Upshift - It's Great

Upshift is a group car ownership business – that takes programs like Zipcar to the next level for someone who needs to use a car on a regular basis. Whenever you need to use a car, you order it online, and it is delivered to you – sounds great right?

Naia Health - It's Great

NaiaHealth is changing what people expect out of pumps for breast-feeding their babies. Their goal is to make pumps that are quiet, smaller, more comfortable, and more efficient.

Flyr - It's Great

Flyr is a site that lets you guarantee a flight price, while you keep searching for other flights.

Roomreveal - It's Great

RoomReveal shares photos and inspiration of home improvement projects and connects people to contractors.

Medlio - It's Great is an app that acts as digital insurance card as well as medical resource for finding doctors offices and other medical information.

Revolve Robotics - It's Great

RevolveRobotics turns your ipad into a robotic surrogate for conference rooms. People see your face, while you are able to swivel the ipad see the entire room just by clicking your mouse.

Meshify - It's Great

Meshify helps enable access and control over the internet of things. This was especially interesting to us because of the digital signage aspects – for example, we blogged about British Airways’ excellent digital signage billboard campaign last year.

Canvs - It's Great

Canvs+ is meant to be the next iteration of project management, with graphical approaches to collaboration and project management.

Porter - It's Great

Porter is a personal service finder – from pet sitting to personal chefs. Will be available in major cities.

Lumo - It's Great

Lumo is a wearable designed for monitoring and improving health behavior for your back and posture.

Slido - It's Great
Web tool for instant polling and sharing results during presentations and conferences. We think this may be a great tool to use with digital signage as well.

Locket - It's Great MediaLocket

App that delivers curated content for locked screens on phones.

Three Pound - It's Great MediaThreePound

Their app uses brain sensor headbands to map and give feedback on meditations, and to promote meditation in the workplace.

Cofounders Lab - It's Great MediaCofounders

Cofounders Lab is a place where you can connect with other cofounders and build a team for your next startup project.

Dream Inn - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Digital Signage by It's Great Media

Digital Sign at Dream Inn featured in Sentinel

Check out that beautiful sign! Today our sign at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn hotel lobby was photographed for an article about rising hotel occupancy trends in Santa Cruz, CA. This sign is a pilot project of the Brand Monterey Bay digital signage network. It’s Great Media is proud to provide high quality content for partners in the network, such as the iconic Santa Cruz Dream Inn.

Check out the article online here:

Check out Dream Inn’s digital signage video content by It’s Great Media here:

Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup - Emily Cohan - It's Great Media

New Tech Meetup Celebrates 6 Year Anniversary

Congratulations Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup!

Emily Cohan, founder of It’s Great Media, was featured in this week’s Sentinel article about the 6 year anniversary of Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup. This meetup has become the go-to place for anyone involved with startups and entrepreneurship. Emily spoke at the meetup in December about current trends in digital signage, and she was delighted to be included in the article.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Emily Cohan, who founded It’s Great Media two years ago, called the MeetUp “one of my favorite things about Santa Cruz” because “people can get a lot of information quickly and it can spark collaboration.”

She will present a Santa Cruz example at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas in February, and expects to hire animators and scriptwriters this year.

Read Full Article:

DSE2014 - Emily Cohan - It's Great Media

It’s Great Media at Digital Signage Expo 2014

Emily Cohan, founder of It’s Great Media will be speaking in two separate sessions at the Digital Signage Expo 2014, in Las Vegas, NV.

Digital Content Lighting Round
w/ Emily Cohan, Founder – It’s Great Media – Feb 12th, 2014

Adapting Existing Content for Digital Signage
w/ Emily Cohan, Founder – It’s Great Media – Feb 13th, 2014

The Digital Signage Expo is a great place for people in the industry to learn about current trends in technology and best practices. Emily is excited to be sharing her insights alongside other experts from the industry.

See you in Vegas!

Webinar: Digital Signage for the Little Guys – How To Get Great Digital Signage

Digital Signage is a great way for businesses to connect with their customers with high quality videos and messaging. This video shows how small businesses can get great looking digital signage without breaking the bank. We will cover what goals businesses should have in mind when creating their content, and how to execute a signage plan to achieve these goals. We show a few specific real world digital signage examples to help illustrate concepts in how to run a great signage campaign, while minimizing production costs. We provide viewers with a checklist they can use to ensure their content is on the right track, and how to make the most out of their digital signage systems.

It’s Great Media produces high quality digital signage, TV ads/commercials, corporate videos/promos, webpages, and print materials. Our work is exceptional. Check out our website at and give us a call. We are happy to talk with you about your next project.

We have offices in Santa Cruz, and serve clients all around the world including San Francisco, Geneva, Los Angeles, and New York City.

LittleFootprint Lighting - Eco Fair - Digital Signage by It's Great Media

LittleFootprint Lighting takes digital signage to eco-shows

LittleFootprint Lighting will be showcasing their eco-friendly desk lamp at the Green Festival in SF and Greenbuild conference in Philadelphia this month using digital signage by It’s Great Media.

Here is what Emily Cohan, founder of It’s Great Media, had to share about the project:

“This was a fun and straightforward signage project to help showcase their product to expo attendees. We love the product that LittleFootprint Lighting has come up with, using recycled steel and e-waste to make a super-efficient desk lamp. Nancy, the founder, was very happy with the signage video and we were able to show her how to use a basic $30 media player to just loop the video over and over again.”

Checkout Littlefootprint Lighting’s digital signage video here:

It’s Great Media puts NiftyScreens on hold.

It’s Great Media is putting NiftyScreens on hold. What?!? Yes, we stopped work on NiftyScreens about a few months ago, and switched back to a custom production model for our Digital Signage customers, similar to what we already have been doing successfully for years for our web design clients.

What does that mean to you? Well, we think this means you get even better quality signage content. We pride ourselves on focusing directly on customer needs, and that is hard to do through a dashboard, which was a huge component of NiftyScreens. So we’re shelving it for now, and moving onto bigger, better, and shinier things.

Meanwhile, we are coming out with new workshops and tutorials to help educate small business owners about what it takes to have a great looking signage system. We are also partnering with interior designers to research best practices with digital signage installations. If you are interested in talking to us about any of these things, drop us a line – we love talking to you!

Ps. We’ll be launching our recently refreshed portfolios for digital signage and tv commercials soon! Stay tuned.

It’s Great Media Founder Spotted at New Tech Meetup

This morning we were surprised to find It’s Great Media founder, Emily Cohan, gracing the cover the Santa Cruz Sentinel once again.

Here is a link to the Sentinel article. Emily is quoted towards the end.

Here are some additional notes from Emily about the meetup:
“The Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp is always a great show and tell of local and global leaders, sharing insights they have about the current state of technology and thoughts for the future. This week’s meetup was especially exciting since we got to hear Peggy Dolgenos speak about the upcoming 25th anniversary of Cruzio (the ISP and office space that It’s Great Media is located) and Looker walk through their pitch deck after being awarded $16 Million in VC funding. We also got to hear from X2Engine (another Cruzio start-up) and about many other great things happening in and around Santa Cruz. The atmosphere here is one of major excitement, and we are so thrilled to be part of it. We want to help Santa Cruz and Cruzio celebrate 25 years of technology in style.”

Anyone who wishes to join the Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp group should check them out on at:

Video for Bamboo Finance Geneva Investor Event

Bamboo Finance is producing a series of events to provide a unique perspective on investing to achieve impact and market rate returns. They needed an video to introduce their first event held on June 7th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Bamboo Finance is a company that has high standards, and we wanted to create a video that reflected the quality of their work, while clearly explaining the state of Microfinance,” says It’s Great founder, Emily Cohan. “The resulting video was a great success. In fact the night of the event, we received a note from the client saying, ‘The video looks amazing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!'”

Watch the video here: Relaunch – Website Design

It’s Great Media is proud to announce the relaunch of Philanthrocapitalism is a blog produced by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, uthors of notable books such as The Road From Ruin, Philanthrocapitalism, and essential economics. Matthew Bishop is the US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist. Michael Green is an economist and writer, based in London. He is an adviser to the Big Society Network and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

We are big fans of the idea that saving the world can also make financial sense, and we have been privaleged to work with businesses with same point of view, such as ConserveTrack, Sustainable Conservation, and Bamboo Finance. We were especially excited to help organize Matthew’s and Michael’s ideas into a blog that was engaging and throught provoking.

“Stylistically, we gave their logo a makeover, giving their identity a softer and cleaner feel to match their messaging,” says It’s Great founder, Emily Cohan. “We made sure their WordPress version was up to date, and added a simplified post structure for easier reading. The soft-tone deco lines help compliment the large amount of content, while giving a slight futuristic feel. It was a lot of fun to work on. ”

Check out the newly redesign blog for Matthew Bishop and Michael Green at: