Today, we speak with Anthony Iacovone, Founder and CEO of AdTheorent, the world’s first intelligent Real Time Bidding (RTB) enabled mobile ad network.
What does “Made in NYTM” mean to you and your company?
We are a company that was conceived and born in New York. I am a native New Yorker and I like to think that the diversity of the city and its energy produce close-range innovation in ways that other cities cannot, or at least not with the same powerful effect. We benefit from the intellectual and artistic fervor of New York as much as any company, and we are a microcosm of where we see the “Made in NYTM” campaign succeeding. We continue to attract some of the brightest minds in the industry, including young people who have made a conscious choice to be part of something unique that is happening right now in the city. It is tremendously important to have the New York venture community understanding that we create something that is tangible and makes a difference in people’s everyday lives, and that is “Made in NYTM.”
What can be done to maximize the “Made in NYTM” campaign?
“Made in NYTM” needs to create micro-campaigns aimed at various sectors – fashion, financial services, advertising, media, software development, etc. – that deliver the message that successful companies start here and grow here. We know that New York is an attractive city in which to live and do business, but the city needs to highlight the innovators in each sector in ways that translate the sector’s growth and the advantages that New York brings to each innovator. “Made in NYTM” also needs to differentiate itself from the (very successful) stamp that the phrase made in the film and TV production industry, in which jobs were brought back to New York due to tax incentives and a sense of native pride. I think that there is still this sense that the city needs massive corporations to validate the technology industry, which is fine, but this is not a long-term recipe for success. We need to see more early-stage successes promoted as reasons that “Made in NYTM” is a phrase worth repeating, over and over. I think it’s worthwhile for “Made in NYTM” to consider creating some sort of historical overview of the venture growth in the city. I love that Google’s presence is very big in the city, but in my view it’s more important for today’s New York entrepreneurs to know that DoubleClick was the engine for what we now call the ad:tech space, and DoubleClick was very much “Made in NYTM.”
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in NYC?
Campaigns that promote the value of transferring intellectual property into real products would help. I also think that the services industries that enable entrepreneurship in New York should be aligned in some way to create a ready-made resource for people who wish to create companies in the city. Early-stage entrepreneurs need to understand how they can benefit from the city in real terms, and there needs to be a more unified resource for this. It would help the venture community to have “Made in NYTM” create a broader, borough-by-borough list of resources. The universities need to become more integrated with the venture community. There are great young minds at NYU, Hunter College, Parsons, Columbia and other schools that might not discover how they could become part of what they might see as, exclusively, a technology community. There also needs to be a greater understanding that New York entrepreneurs are still New Yorkers and they will invent and grow their businesses in, well, New York ways. Highlighting the unique, even quirky, approaches to invention and company growth is something that needs to be promoted. This is the human aspect of New York entrepreneurship – beyond capital raises, exits and earn-outs – that must be trumpeted loudly.
Where does your company fit in the ecosystem?
We are a true New York technology venture. We serve the advertising industry the Intelligent Impression™ with premium mobile predictive advertising. We work with ad agencies and brands to help them identify, through predictive modeling, the most valuable impressions for their ad campaigns. This is heavy data science that literally “learns” from ad bid requests and matches mobile ads with the best impression. Naturally, we benefit from the robust mobile community in New York, and the ready resource of data scientists (some of our younger employees might have gone to Wall Street 10 years ago; today, they are working for AdTheorent). We help the media industry understand the value of data mining for mobile marketing. We are completely dialed into the media-buying world as much as the software and data analytics world. Our technology, the AdTheorent Real Time Learning Machine (RTLM), epitomizes who we are as a “Made in NYTM” company. We provide a better service, while learning on the fly, and deliver greater value for the money than any previous service.
Read what other thought leaders have to say about “Made in NY™.”