Betaworks is Listening for Audiocamp Startup Pitches
New York startup studio Betaworks is looking for the next big ideas in audio to join its upcoming Audiocamp. The chosen startups will get a pre-seed investment from Betaworks and three months to work and collaborate in Betaworks with each other.
Camp for the Ears
Startups can right now for a spot in Audiocamp, the first deadline is Oct. 15. The startups chosen will then start their three months at Betaworks, and receive a $200,000 investment from Betaworks Ventures, the VC arm of the organization. Betaworks chose audio as the theme for the upcoming camp because it sees now as a crucial moment for audio’s place in the larger tech industry and because Betaworks has a history of successful investments in audio tech startups.
“It’s no secret that at Betaworks we’re incredibly optimistic about the future of audio,” Betaworks Camp General Manager Danika Laszuk said in the announcement of the camp. “We’ve been investing in podcasting and audio applications for over five years now, including writing the first check into Anchor and as the first institutional investors in Gimlet (both acquired by Spotify).”
The audio theme covers a broad range of sub-topics. Social audio experiences, synthetic/generative audio and music, “always-in” applications and services, audio utilities, natural language processing tools and applications for audio, content discovery and monetization, augmented reality for audio, and killer voice-first applications for smart speakers. Streaming audio, especially podcasting, and voice assistants have rapidly grown in the last several years, but are still far from mature technologies, providing opportunities for startups with exciting ideas, according to Laszuk. To highlight the point, Betaworks arranged a video extolling the future of audio from Jon Hamm, or a reasonable facsimile created by synthetic speech technology startup and Betaworks Camp alumnus Resemble AI.
Betaworks Camping in the future
Betaworks has been hosting its thematic camps once or twice a year for the last few years, starting with Botcamp in 2016. Each camp combines time focused on product development with time spent on business development, marketing, and fundraising. Camps have focused on topics including conversational interfaces, computer vision and augmented reality, streaming, synthetic reality, and voice-first applications.
Though not intended as a regular part of Betaworks originally, the camps are now a complementary part of Betaworks’ other seed investments. The success of several of the companies involved in the early camps encouraged Betaworks to integrate the thematic camps into its overall program. As voice assistants and hearable tech become part of more and more people’s lives, the innovations the chosen startups bring to the Audiocamp could shape the future of audio technology.