WRITTEN BY ALLISON WAY, SENIOR COPYWRITER & CHIEF EDITORKyle Johnson, CEO and founder of AudioAnywhere, walked away with the Innovator of the Year award at the PIPELINE event last week in Kansas City, Kansas. Johnson was selected after a competition that included a refined business plan, a pitch to an expert panel and a score carried over from performance during the fellowship year.
AudioAnywhere was inducted into PIPELINE’s 2011 class where it underwent an intense startup curriculum that included pitch practice, mentorship and coaching. The 2012 Innovator of the Year event was Johnson’s final milestone as a participant in the PIPELINE program.
“Winning is an honor,” said Johnson after the event. “This gives us the opportunity to help out with the PIPELINE program. With the announcement comes a great deal of expectation and I will continue to be a part of the program. It’s an honor and an obligation, but I am excited to help out with it.”
According to audience members and judges, Johnson not only prepped to deliver his AudioAnywhere pitch, but he was also ready to engage in lively question-and-answer discussions with judges.
“It was fun being questioned by Lars Perkins,” commented Johnson. “We had a lively exchange and it entertained the audience. It was a good interaction. But at the end, I thought to myself, ‘I’m either first or last!’”
AudioAnywhere, a client of Kansas City-based startup accelerator Think Big Partners, has built an advertising platform to more effectively monetize free media content, which in effect, could contribute to reviving the online music industry. AudioAnywhere will provide online music sites with better advertisements that generate more revenue per song. With AudioAnywhere’s solution, the music industry could yield 10 times the income of today’s online audio ads. WithAudio Anywhere, online advertisements are produced to reach the right target market on sites such as Spotify and Pandora.
With the Innovator of the Year title under his belt, Johnson hopes to effectively launch and grow AudioAnywhere this year. Once AudioAnywhere has launched, it will begin to generate revenue and eventually, help online music companies like Pandora and Spotify improve their own financial situations. Johnson also hopes to kick start his capital campaign and continue his venture capital push.
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