Backed by $1M from Compuware, Glocal Offers Location-Based News Video Site

1/9/13Follow @XconomyDET

Aaron Hodai and Lincoln Cavalieri were high school buddies, lacrosse stars for Detroit Country Day who later went on to college at Syracuse (Lincoln) and the University of Michigan (Aaron). They kept in touch and decided to take their post-collegiate careers in an entrepreneurial direction.

Despite having no specific IT or journalism background, what they came up with is Glocal, a Detroit startup that focuses on aggregating news videos based on location. Backed by a $1 million investment from Compuware Ventures, Glocal launched in late October after the pair worked on the site for more than a year.

What Glocal does is scour the web for news videos, organizing them both geographically and by category. Users can sign in through Facebook to customize their news feeds and share what they’re watching.

“We got the idea when Hulu and Vimeo came about but there was no hub for news videos,” Cavalieri explains. “If you want to know what’s going on where you are or where you’re traveling to, you can see content from local TV, newspapers, or community organizations. You can also see, with a major event like [the Newtown shootings], how the local market covers the story.”

News outlets can apply to be providers and Glocal vets them. They are looking for quality content, Cavalieri says, adding that “we don’t want webcam people singing in their bathroom.”

Glocal has already pivoted a bit in its short life. Glocal started as a New York City-based company with an office on the corner of 33rd and First. Once Cavalieri and Hodai connected with Compuware Ventures, they relocated to Detroit and now work out of the Compuware headquarters downtown.

Cavalieri says Glocal plans to continue evolving its platform, growing its user base, and improving content quality. The long-term goal is to have every city in the world on the Glocal platform. Cavalieri says the company is also developing an ad platform for small businesses to upload their own ads, where they’ll have the power to pick which cities the ads run in.

In the meantime, as the company grows, Cavalieri says they’re enjoying being back in the Motor City. “Detroit will be hustling and bustling in a few years,” Cavalieri adds. “It’s already like night and day in the year and a half that I’ve been here.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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