Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 6.40.46 AMWe interrupt this book for a quick update on what’s happening in my so-called career. Shortly before beginning this serialization of Accidental Empires I explained that I would be doing some new projects including a book and a startup about startups — The Startup Channel ( The latter project will now launch in April so it’s time to explain.

The Startup Channel will be an online video channel about startups and startup people. You’ll find it probably on YouTube unless some other Internet video outfit makes me a better offer (hint, hint). We’ll be launching with 40 hours of pre-produced content, which is a lot for online video where the typical segments are 3-6 minutes long. We’ll launch with approximately 600 segments. And over the course of a year we’ll produce 250 hours of original content or around 3,750 segments. This is a huge amount of video but there’s a lot to cover in the vibrant startup space.

Eighty percent of our content will be three-minute elevator pitches for new companies. We have a database of more than 6,000 current business plans (the largest such database in existence) with full financials to draw from and hope to produce at least 2,000 pitches per year. The rest of the content will be contextual: it will inform, explain, educate, and entertain an audience eager to know more about startups and startup culture. In that 20 percent you’ll see some familiar footage like all my old NeRDTV episodes including the 13 never before shown. We’ll also have Startup America, a magazine series about startups outside Silicon Valley, and Startup Silicon Valley, a similar series about, well, you can guess, though with more of a company town (insider) slant. These won’t be the only shows, though — there will be many and we’ll continue those that are popular.

I’m not the only person making these shows. We have actual people, real professionals, making this new fangled TV.

At the heart of The Startup Channel, however, are the pitches, because in addition to being an ad-supported media enterprise, the channel will be what’s essentially the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for potential startup investments. The JOBS Act, passed last year, allows advertising and solicitation of crowd funding and private placements and someone has to provide a forum for that advertising, which is what we will do. So you can watch the pitch, drill down to the business plan, analyze the financials (we have tools), look for comps, then make your decision. What we don’t do is actually participate in the deal, which would put us under the thumbs of the SEC and FINRA.

But wait, there’s more! Not being under the thumb of the SEC or FINRA or anyone for that matters also allows The Startup Channel to provide a community for startups, which doesn’t work if you are also trying to put your hand in their pocket. Every startup needs external support and unless you live in Silicon Valley or a few other cities you are out of luck… until now.

The Startup Channel is uniquely positioned as a neutral third party to help every startup — whether they are in St. Paul or Peoria — get the tools and build the team they need to succeed.

Think of this aspect of The Startup Channel as a cross between Bloomberg and Morningstar with some MLS thrown-in.

This positioning is not by accident. We’ve been working on this for more than a year, building a Salesforce-based back end to support data demands that go significantly beyond those of the typical video streamer. The JOBS Act is very exciting, but most of the startups that rise to support that new ecosystem will fail. By being advertising-supported and not part of the deal we feel The Startup Channel has a greater chance of success. After all, we help enable the success of all those other companies!

We are just before the dawn of not only a whole new way to capitalize small companies (crowd funding) but a whole new use for TV and video. The Startup Channel couldn’t make it on linear TV. But on a random access network like the Internet it presents a whole new way of making money and fomenting change that may be broadly applicable to video media as the traditional broadcast networks eventually fade and die.

At least that’s the plan.

I’m not without support on this project. In addition to my partner Ralph Infanti I have a remarkable support system:

June Dilevsky – Israel-based startup veteran with extensive experience in regulatory compliance

Karen Edwards – Retired SVP for Global Branding at Yahoo

Keith Fox — Former head of global marketing for Apple and Cisco Systems

Jeff Jacobs — Founding president of Harpo Productions

Tod Mesirow — Executive Producer Monster Garage, Mythbusters, and Top Gear USA

Avram Miller — Co-founder, Intel Capital

Robert Peck — President & Partner at CoRise Co., LLC, formerly Managing Partner at Bear Stearns

John Ruane — Winner of 12 Emmys as producer of the Olympic Games for NBC Sports

Jong Lee — Hong Kong-based VC with portfolio investments including Starbucks (North China) and MTV (Japan)

Robert E. Litan – Director of Research for Bloomberg Government

Were hiring! If The  Startup Channel sounds exciting to you,  please get  in touch ( We’re also looking for strategic alliances, And as a startup ourselves we may at some point choose to raise more money. My kids like to eat. Finally, for the SEC and FINRA, this does not constitute an offer or solicitation for the sale of securities.  Seriously though, my kids — and Ralph’s — do like to eat.

We now return you to your previously scheduled book.