Pulse of a NYC Techstar: LiveLike, VR Platform for Live Sports



In this post we are talking to Andre Lorenceau, co-founder and CEO of LiveLike, Techstars ’15 company from San Francisco.

1. What is LiveLike in 140 characters?

LiveLike uses Virtual Reality to bring you and your friends a sports viewing experience that’s as easy as TV and as awesome as the stadium.

2. Why did you start the company?

I loved VR and wanted to use this new, exciting medium to relive the college football game day experience (go University of Texas!) while I’m thousands of miles away working in Korea. I introduced Virtual Reality and the headset to my brother in France and together we came up with a prototype, built a team, and are now looking to make this technology available for all.

3. How will the experience of watching sports in VR be different from watching sports on TV?

Virtual Reality gives us the ability to teleport fans to the stadium with 180 and 360 videos, localized audio, and interactive features that create an extremely immersive experience all within a portable mobile device.

4. What do broadcasters need to do to prepare their content in VR? Is this a special format, equipment?

LiveLike is the only platform designed to leverage existing broadcasting ecosystems. We take care of the formatting; the setup can be as easy as a wide angle lens on an existing camera feed.

5. What hardware + software do viewers need to have to view sports in VR.

There are a variety of different ways to enjoy Virtual Reality. LiveLike is currently focusing on mobile. Our platform is hardware agnostic, meaning it will be available for both iOS and Android along with other operating systems as they become more accessible. All you will need is a smartphone, VR headset, and the application connected to the internet. Within a few seconds you will be watching the game.

6. What makes your technology defensible?

Our platform is flexible and working to aggregate dozens of different sports technology that were previously spread on multiple devices. Smart TV’s, second screen experiences, and augmentations in video feed can now all merge within your VR headset. Being the core network point for all these different apps is what makes LiveLike the best choice for watching sports in VR.

7. What is your long-term vision for the company?

We want to help every league, broadcaster, and media rights holder build a customized VR platform. The VR app could be called ESPNvr or NBCvr or BBC-sportsVR but will be powered by Livelike’s highly flexible, social platform designed for the optimum user experience.

8. What is your advice to your fellow founders?

Don’t fight every battle with your product. Don’t try to innovate on EVERY part of your business model. We focus on building the best UX for watching sports. It’s a big enough market and it’s challenging enough. We aren’t trying to replace every broadcaster in the world at the same time.

We are trying to build the ultimate tool and focus on making it so good and easy to adopt that there would be no reason not to. I see too many people trying to be great in many ways but truly excel in only a few. Pick your battles and win those battles.



Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Alex Iskold

Alex Iskold is the Managing Director of Techstars in New York City.

Previously Alex was Founder/CEO of GetGlue (acquired by i.tv),  founder/CEO of Information Laboratory (acquired by IBM), and Chief Architect DataSynapse (acquired by TIBCO).

Alex routinely writes about entrepreneurship and startups at Alex Iskold.

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