Monday, April 21, 1997

Sputnik7 launched (Viant/Blue Tape)

How often is a company incubated within another firm? How often is it that the incubated and firm throw a big bash in classic Silicon Alley style for their baby? Well, Blue Tape (the incubatee) together with Viant (the incubator) launched (the incubated) on Wednesday, April 21st at Viant's sprawling offices. Blue Tape is a formation of Less Garland (one of the founders of MTV and The Box and president of Blue Tape), Morris Wheeler (CEO), Tom Grueskin (exec. VP of products) and Chris Stephens (COO) that has now spun off on its own. The streaming music video web site was up on all the conference room monitors, showing off its three pre-programmed channels (done by a VJ). There is a fourth channel where the registered members can go and review a subset of songs available and request them to be played on the jukebox channel. From the wide-open spaces where desks were adorned with martini glasses, laptops and Viant barbell water bottles, you could see how the flow of information on projects is promoted. Marilyn Dintenfass, of Viant explained that the interior design is a physical embodiment of their philosophy.

The entranceway has a big-brotherish Viant logo, which was also where the most extravagant centerpiece of yummy hors d'oeuvres were. At one end of the vast loft-like office were Katherine Cavanaugh, Co-Founder & News Director, MediaKat LLC and Richard Winkler of Curious Pictures, who were reminiscing how Jonathan Sarno of Webcinema built Curious Pictures' web site. Now their client list includes ad agencies HBO and other biggies. The ever-adorable Chad Evans, creative developer on Sputnik7, came over to say "hello" when he spied someone jetting around with a notepad. Guilty, as charged. Nearby were Alison Fishman (Viant) and Ed Bennett ( who were exchanging funny stories about their realtor -- who Alison recently began using as she plans her move back from San Fran to NYC in a few months. I passed Zoe Adlersberg (WitCapital) on my way over to the other side of the space, where I chatted with Sandeep Thakrar of e-com advisors and Andrew Goodman and Ian Hardman of GE Capital. In the Soho conference room I happened upon eloquent Seth Palmer of Viant's (Sputnik7 was his first project here), who is now based in their Dallas office chatting with platinum pixied Marielle Smith (Silicon Alley Connections) and the irresistible Ted Werth (Digital Club Network). When I told them that I'll be having a "Cocktails with Courtney" party in Dallas on the 19th, Seth replied it was perfect timing as Dallas is one of the special preview cities for "Star Wars" and everyone will be all trekked out!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)