By Christi Fish
Associate Director of Media Relations
(Oct. 25, 2012) -- Latakoo, a start-up company that offers an easy-to-use online video transfer product, has been selected to receive a $200,000 investment from the University of Texas (UT) System Horizon Fund. The investment is significant news for latakoo and for The University of Texas at San Antonio, which is part owner in the company and is conducting research to further develop the company's product.
"Upstream Internet connections are not that robust, so there's a lot of waiting when you want to upload high-definition video because the files are so big," said Paul Adrian, latakoo CEO. "The service we offer makes uploading large video files to a secure account in the cloud easy and really fast."
Latakoo was founded by Paul Adrian and Jade Kurian, former broadcast journalists who experienced the challenge of sending large video files from the field to the station. Customers pay a modest monthly fee to download software from www.latakoo.com onto their hard drives. Then, they can drag, drop and click to quickly transfer virtually any video to latakoo's secure Web-based cloud service. From there, the files can be shared, streamed or downloaded.
"The service is useful for video professionals," said Kurian, "but it's also useful for anyone with a cell phone that shoots video. Without latakoo, it's difficult to share video from a phone in a cellular environment, but our service makes it easy."
Early in 2010, latakoo struck up a relationship with Sos Agaian, the UTSA Peter T. Flawn Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Agaian is an expert in image optimization and compression. Shortly thereafter, latakoo joined UTSA's New Venture Incubator. The facility, managed by UTSA Chief Commercialization Officer Cory Hallam, nurtures start-up companies that are commercializing UTSA intellectual property or sponsoring UTSA research expected to lead to new intellectual property. The incubator fits into the broader technology commercialization environment of San Antonio as an early-phase source of new ventures.
"The university's solution will provide huge relief for any person or company that needs to move massive files -- starting with video -- to the cloud in a safe and secure manner," said Adrian. "And, what's great is that UTSA is working like a start-up business. When a feature is ready out of Dr. Agaian's laboratory, we can wrap it in. Little by little, we're maturing the product."
Latakoo's product is catching on with broadcast companies that, until now, have been dependent on satellite trucks and expensive software and hardware to send their video from the field to the newsroom. The start-up has already signed deals with the Belo Corp., the Nexstar Broadcasting Group and NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News. Political campaigns, industry organizations, video production companies, freelance photographers and private individuals also use the product, according to Kurian.
Hallam says the universality of video sharing and the inclusion of a video camera on most every smart phone offer great potential for latakoo's growth. "We have witnessed an evolution of video," he said. "The format has changed immensely. First it was tape. Then it was a disc. Now it's a digital card sitting in the camera. Every new generation of data has a new way of storing that video, and the files are getting larger and larger. Super HD is coming down the road, and those files are four to 16 times larger than what we have today."
Moving forward, latakoo is focused on raising funds and developing its product. The start-up has raised $550,000 in its current funding round, bringing the total to $1.8 million including the investment from the UT System Horizon Fund. UT System funding will help latakoo sustain its sales and marketing while growing the company. It also will support continued research by Agaian and UTSA doctoral student Richard Metzler, who are working on ways to support the transfer of hour-long video clips.
"We are pleased to support commercialization of technologies out of the exciting research at UTSA," said Bryan Allinson, executive director of Technology Commercialization for the UT System. "The Horizon Fund serves as a strategic fund for the UT System, and this investment in latakoo has the potential to not only provide positive return on investment from our research, but to further improve commercialization of UT technologies serving to support our strategic mission."
"I cannot tell you how much it helps to have UTSA behind us," said Adrian. "We have strong ties to Austin and San Antonio. We cannot think of a partner we would rather have in the community than the University of Texas System."
Latakoo is an Austin company providing an end-to-end video management platform, specializing in the simplification of video delivery and archiving over the Internet without costly investment in hardware and software.
The UT System Horizon Fund serves as a strategic fund for the UT System, one of the nation's largest systems of public higher education, and, with its nine academic and six health institutions, a national leader in education, research, health care and service. Its health professionals are responsible for providing care to millions of patients each year, and its academic faculty is engaged in cutting-edge research, making significant discoveries to improve the lives of people around the globe. The goals of the UT Horizon Fund are to improve commercialization of UT technologies and improve sustainability through a positive return on investment.
The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory
This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus
The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium. The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)
Faithful Alabi holds the Raw Teen III American deadlift record
2015 was a significant year for UTSA. As the university moved forward on the road to Tier One research, designations and recruitment of high caliber faculty and students, it also completed its first ever capital campaign. Read about UTSA's accomplishments in the 2015 Year in Review as we look forward to what the next year will bring.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.