Law firm and tech startup team up in new initiative
In the past month, Shannon Daniels has gained new neighbors — and new consultants.
Her presentation-software startup Encaptiv moved in three weeks ago to an office within the downtown Stamford headquarters of intellectual-property law firm Whitmyer IP Group, becoming the first business in residence in WHIP’s new InventLab initiative. With the partnership, the two businesses are aiming to develop and safeguard Encaptiv’s intellectual property to ensure it is fully prepared when its products hit the market within the next few months.
“Having the expertise of someone like WHIPGroup to help us through the process and help us identify those areas in which we can protect ourselves and the products and be more successful as a company is just invaluable,” Daniels, Encaptiv’s founder and CEO, said in an interview earlier this month at the WHIP offices at 600 Summer St. “Being here in this program opens a lot of doors for us.”
Daniels met the WHIP team in April when she attended a presentation in its monthly Tech Entrepreneur Meetup series. Launched at the beginning of this year, the program consists of talks for local professionals on topics including artificial intelligence, Bitcoin, cloud technology and finance.
Founded in January, Encaptiv is targeting a September “beta” rollout for its offerings and putting its services on the market in January.
“We’re really looking forward to learning all that we can about this process and building a really solid product that’s protected from an IP standpoint,” Daniels said.
The firm has already filed an application for a provisional patent. It is also seeking trademarks for its name — an amalgamation of “engage” and “captivate” — as well as its blue-and-purple logo and slogan, “Don’t present. Encaptivate.”
“They’re in that stage of development where they need the intellectual-property protection,” said WHIP founder Wesley Whitmyer Jr. “We felt we could add value, especially by helping with their patents.”
Encaptiv’s web-based software allows audience members to give feedback through their mobile devices during presentations and enables presenters to use the input to then customizes their lectures or sales pitches. Key user groups would include entrepreneurs and educators.
“We don’t want users to have to go to an app store, download an app, try to join the presentation,” Daniels said. “It’s too much of a barrier. They just enter a specific URL or go to encaptiv.com and put in a specific presentation code and then they put their name and email address in, and it joins them into the presentation.”
Encaptiv, which employs seven, plans to stay six months in the InventLab, with an option for another six months. WHIP could take in one more firm, but it would not host more than two businesses at the same time.
The stint at WHIP’s offices will significantly lower the overhead of Encaptiv, which was formerly based in an office park at 76 Progress Drive, on the west side of the city. During its stay, Encaptiv will not pay rent or be billed for any office services such as printing, copying or phone calls.
“It’s wonderful having the space to work in this beautiful office,” Daniels said. “It helps the company save some money having those six months, so we don’t have to stress about that.”
Already, Whitmyer and his colleagues have suggested a number of potential sources of revenues for Encaptiv, including corporate licensing.
“A large company may want to use this for their in-house training,” Whitmyer said. “They may just want to have a special version of the Encaptiv software, and maybe Shannon will license it to them for that purpose. It doesn’t impact the core market.”
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