The Silicon Review
“We expect to be the dominant live sports app in the market with several million users.”
OmniView Sports Inc offers personalized sports viewing experience through handheld devices. The platform uses Machine Learning that connects real-time sports data and user preferences such as team, fantasy, and/or betting choices with notification and auto-channel changing for the most exciting live action.
OmniView was incorporated in 2020 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nikhil Patel, OmniView Sports Inc CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Explain your services in brief.
OmniView Sports delivers a personalized, smart sports hub to fans that extend and personalize the NFL RedZone concept to all sports.
Q. Tell us about your patent and its contribution to your success.
For most early-stage companies, patents only serve as a tool to obtain investors as they see it as a barrier to entry. For example, a company that has raised a $10M ‘Series A’ still does not have the resources to use its patent assets. A patent only gives the owner a right to exclude others from practicing your invention. To do that, you must sue someone. Thus, patent litigation is complicated and very costly (e.g., $2-4M)—that’s 20-40 percent of their raise.
However, we can use our patent assets because I have been a practicing patent attorney with over 12 years of experience developing patent portfolios and patent litigation matters. Additionally, having 1-4 patents is probably useless for a technology company, whereas that might be sufficient for a biotech company as you can only cover a new drug in so many ways. For example, the iPhone has 1000s of patents covering aspects of the device. The significant value is not in the current patent assets but our ability to generate IP assets and use them. For instance, I am both the inventor and the patent attorney. Other companies that innovate must explain the innovation to a patent attorney, and if they’re a good firm, they have many clients, so they aren’t going to be able to file a patent for at least three months.
Given that we are a first-to-file country, that delay is significant but unavoidable. Furthermore, it will likely take the US patent office three years to even review the application. On the other hand, we can pay for fast track and get granted patents in one year because we don’t have the attorney fees (e.g., $10-15K per patent application).
Q. Experts predict that the failure of trusted algorithms is bound to happen. How can you make your solution foolproof?
Luckily, we do not rely on those trusted algorithms. We have been accepted into Sportradar’s Acceleradar program and have access to real-time sports data directly from the stadiums. Currently, Sportradar has an exclusive deal with each of the leading professional US sports leagues. Accordingly, with the FCC’s required 7-second delay, and cable’s additional five, and streaming’s further 30-second delay, fans can only see what happened in a game between 12-37 seconds after it occurs. We can determine which event a user would find the most exciting to watch within milliseconds, so we cheat a little bit (laughs).
We use predictive/personalization algorithms to establish an initial guess for other purposes that we are about to file patents for, so I can’t discuss the details now. Additionally, due to our channel changing feature, we are the only platform with an inherent and built-in feedback loop required for Machine Learning.
Q. To gain speed and efficiency and create new revenue opportunities, live sports producers are now exploring innovative technologies, with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the forefront. How does your offering help them in their endeavors?
We are the only platform that can tell these producers what game a fan is currently watching, and potentially, more important, what game the fan is likely to tune into next. Because I have drafted patents for some of these producers’ ad technologies, I know how they work to get sponsor ads in front of viewers. This data is something they do not have in real-time to increase ad bids. Additionally, we can also provide ad sponsors ROI metrics on cable TV ads that are currently unavailable for TV ads (outside of streaming services).
Q. What is your talent acquisition strategy? How do you source talents to maintain the quality of your services?
For now, my acquisition strategy focuses on the relationships I know and the members of my team I work with.
The additional benefit of this is that we are in tune with each other’s strengths and weaknesses to work together better than other teams in what others would potentially see as telepathic communications. To compete in a highly competitive market, you not only need a team that has sufficient skills, but they need to be able to communicate with each other. If your team neither have personal nor professional knowledge of each other, it takes a team significant time to mesh and work effectively. I don’t see how a team like that can hit the ground running. Thus, in our early stages, I am only focused on the talent I can acquire from my team’s personal/professional relationships. That’s also why major corporations provide an employee with bonuses for new hires generated from internal recommendations. It’s not because they save money from using recruitment services. It’s because if that employee is valued, their referral is likely to be of at least a similar caliber.
Q. How do you market your services?
We have been using traditional online and print channels, influencers, and affiliate partners. Additionally, we can capitalize on the massive foot traffic of e-commerce and retail channels via sales of our GameChangr. Other sports platforms do not have a hardware component and are limited to the traditional online and print channels. Thus, they can’t capitalize on Amazon’s monthly unique visitors, which in the US alone, is about 90 million.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Due to COVID, there were no live sports for most of the year. As such, we had some minor delays because we could not meaningfully test the platform until September 2020. As such, we are about to launch our first commercial release this December with shipments to customers within 7-10 days.
Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?
We expect to be the dominant live sports app in the market with several million users. Additionally, we see ourselves as a unique affiliate to both the sportsbooks and fantasy platforms as we do not compete with them but drive them revenue given our focus on personalizing the fan’s viewing experience. We are essentially the only platform that keeps fans engaged with sports, which is vital as fans are constantly being distracted by other forms of media such as Netflix, etc.
Nikhil Patel: In His Own Words
I am the eldest son of Indian immigrants from the UK. Neither of my parents had any formal education but were entrepreneurial and opened boutique educational toy store businesses. Having to work at the toy stores (but not get to play with the toys) from our elementary school years, my brother and I had hands-on education and experience in several business areas.
Because I grew up when Bill Gates took Microsoft and dominated the world, I saw him as a great inspiration. I majored in Computer Science and Engineering at Tufts University but graduated just as the dot-com bubble burst. Luckily, I got a job with a defense contractor and programmed mapping systems for our soldiers. Because I wanted to start my own business, I decided to get my law degree. I felt a JD would give me better tools than business school provided the issues parents faced from being victims of others due to their lack of education. After getting my JD, I have practiced as a patent attorney for about 12 years. I have counseled companies of all sizes (from startups to Fortune 50 companies), developing cutting edge technologies. I also have experienced companies failing despite having great technology due to poor management teams and execution.
During that time, I ended up with a list of about 500 different ideas stored on my iPhone before coming up with OmniView’s technology. Luckily, OmniView ended up having sufficient legs to pursue and related to one of my favorite hobbies—sports. I got fed up with the NFL RedZone because it kept switching away from the game I wanted to watch. I felt I was throwing money away with my NFL Sunday Ticket package because I could not effectively use it. My remote control only lets me toggle between two channels, and I don’t want to memorize what game is on what channel each week.