Eli Bremer is moving from competing in athletics and politics to the marketplace.
Bremer, a 34-year-old Olympic athlete and chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, and a business partner have been readying the online mobile video communications system developed by their Socon Media for launch, hiring contract software developers to design the system, lining up test customers and raising money for marketing.
“Our technology is a new means of communication. It can be between a doctor and a patient, a student and teacher or a celebrity and their fans,” said Bremer, who is chief operating officer of Colorado Springs-based Socon. “We think the potential of this technology is very big. The entire market for mobile video is estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars. If the market is as big as we believe it is and we are in the right space, which is mobile, we expect (to generate) tens of millions of dollars in revenue within three to five years.”
Socon Media was started by Southern California businessman Mike Lindley, who met Bremer in 2007 as part of a U.S. Olympic Committee program to connect potential donors with Olympic athletes. Bremer was training for the 2008 Olympics, where he finished 22nd in the modern pentathlon, which then included fencing, swimming, equestrian jumping, running and shooting (running and shooting have recently been combined). A friendship developed between Bremer and Lindley, who eventually asked Bremer to join him to help start Socon.
Bremer and Lindley based the company in the Springs because Bremer lives here and Lindley’s son plans to attend the Air Force Academy; they also opened an office in the San Francisco area for contractors developing Socon’s software. The company has raised about $1 million, most of it in a loan that can be converted into stock, that is funding development of its technology.
Bremer said the company plans to seek $2 million to $5 million in venture capital early next year that would be used to expand marketing and customize the software for specific industries. Active Release Technique, a local company that markets and trains people to use a soft-tissue manipulation treatment, became an early investor and first customer in April to distribute training information and respond to medical questions.
“We are trying to make mobile video communications interactive. There are other mobile video communications technologies, but none are interactive. Our software changes the mobile video experience by bringing the user into the conversation,” Lindley said. “The world is going to mobile and people want to interact. Retailers want to interact with customers, fans with celebrities and even CEOs want to know what their front-line employees are thinking. We help provide that critical interaction with our software.”
Chuck Wallace, a co-founder of online auto insurance provider Esurance and a member of Socon’s advisory board, called the company’s software “a video version of Twitter” and added that “there is a clear need for a better video communications solution so businesses can communicate with customers, doctors with patients and faculty with students” in a way where both don’t have to make their schedules match.
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