We’re sitting down with RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP) participants to learn their stories, find what inspires them and share with the community.
Newsco was founded with a mission to provide the most innovative solution for corporate communication, specifically enabling companies to create corporate channels to broadcast on monitors and mobile devices. Newsco Founder, Mario Mazzardo, comes from a 30+ year software career in the computer aided design industry. His company, solidThinking, was sold to Altair engineering and remains one of the most used pre-design computer aided design software. He’s an intelligent man with a contagious passion for entrepreneurship and technology. Mario enjoys travel, photography, golf and music. His very first entrepreneurial activity was in broadcast radio, where he merged his passion for music and tech.
Q: What does Newsco do in a nutshell?
A: The concept of Newsco started in 2013. The company relocated to Raleigh, NC in 2019 at the start of our commercial readiness.
Newsco enables companies to create personalized corporate channels, or playlists, to engage, entertain and educate customers and employees. It is a simple process: our AI enabled process curates topics sourced from the web, news, blogs and social media relevant to the audience, the company simply adds its content, which can also be sourced from the web or social media. These streams are merged to create a corporate channel that is multicast in real time to monitors and devices. Our concept — are you making the most of your space and walls?
Q: What inspired you to start this company?
A: I was in a meeting with the CEO of a big multinational company and when we had lunch in their cafeteria, I noticed several monitors broadcasting different TV channels. At the time, I was developing a project for the consumer market, which was essentially a news aggregator.
At that moment, I realized companies use channels like the ones I was seeing to entertain their employees, but they don’t have any control over the content and the ambiance those channels bring into the workplace. Not to mention, there were several minutes of uncontrolled advertising. I wondered, why not use a customized channel to broadcast engaging content like news, while mixing in interesting information about the company. The concept of Newsco was born then.
When an organization curates the content, they set the mood in their own organization. For example have you every gone to an airport and see a news station sharing a story about a plane crash or a Boeing recall. Incidentally we do have an airport as a customer! Or, in today’s environment, a visit to a doctor’s office and being exposed to stories about COVID-19 in the waiting room? Not the best messaging for a patient. We think companies have the responsibility to cultivate reassuring messaging in line with their business goals and mission while hosting their guests. Newsco enables that.
Q: What’s your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
A: The most exciting part of an entrepreneur is the beginning of the project. It’s the most fulfilling part, being able to experience the birth and watch it evolve and grow. Everything is fresh and exciting. It’s very motivating to create new technologies, new approaches and build a culture of dreaming and inspiring others.
The RIoT Accelerator Program is exciting because it’s a collection of risk-takers, people who dream of innovative ideas.
Q: What companies or mentors have been especially helpful to you during your time in the RAP program?
A: It’s been exciting to be introduced to a lot of companies that were where we were. We are excited to watch their success and dreams continue to unfold. It was really beneficial to be introduced to The Wireless Research Center and the amazing things they’re doing and the Triangle has so many services and resources to support entrepreneurship. RTP is the new Silicon Valley.
The connections we made in all areas to support a growing company, such as marketing, sales, certification and legal support were also priceless. The one on one mentorship with Tom Snyder (RIoT Executive Director) and Rachael Newberry (RIoT Program Director) has been invaluable.
Q: Do you have any other role models or companies that have inspired you, either prior to or during your time in RAP?
A: A company that I admire at the moment for how they reinvented themselves is Microsoft. I am a long-time Apple fan but I am inspired by how Microsoft is reinventing their image and their products. Their new CEO, Satya Nadella, has totally brought Microsoft into a new era in terms of communication, hardware and software products, and other innovation. They are much more current and I admire their continued success.
Q: Any advice for entrepreneurs?
A: Find your inspiration. To have success, you need to be positive and enthusiastic. Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams.