Venture for America Fellows Fall in Love with Detroit, Start TernPro
After Brian Bosche graduated from Dartmouth in 2012, he headed for Detroit, sight unseen, as part of the Venture for America program.
“I had heard not-great things in the media, but seeing all the development and the startup scene really impressed me,” he says. “I realized it was a community I wanted to be a part of.”
Venture for America matches recent college graduates with early-stage companies in cities hit hard by economic challenges for a two-year fellowship. The program placed Bosche at the Bizdom startup accelerator, and while there he worked with a lot of early-stage companies. He realized that he wanted to start his own company to help startups better tell their stories, so he partnered with Dan Bloom, another Venture for America fellow, and started TernPro .
Bloom and Bosche created TernPro to allow businesses to create and manage video content, which they see as a powerful marketing tool, more affordably than traditional methods allowed. TernPro relies on a distributed network of video editors and other creative professionals to create its content using cloud-based production technology. TernPro will also send a GoPro camera to clients and allow them to shoot their own videos. The TernPro team then does all the editing and post-production work.
“Video is exploding—video production is something almost every company needs or wants, but they’re intimidated by the technology or they don’t have the budget for it,”Bosche says. “We’re trying to make it more affordable and accessible.”
TernPro is developing a prototype cloud-based platform where it’s possible to plan and upload content, manage projects, assign tasks, manage files, review footage, and contribute time-stamped edits and comments. Bosche describes it as “Contently for video.”
“There are lots of video production companies out there, but we’re trying to create a one-stop shop,” Bosche adds. “There are platforms for publishing and blogging—we’re taking that and applying it to video.”
Spearheading the development of the platform is Jared Inchiostro, an industry veteran who formerly worked for GoPro. A Michigan native, Inchiostro moved back to Detroit and tweeted Opportunity Detroit in search of a job. Bosche saw the Twitter interaction, and TernPro eventually hired him to handle the company’s IT infrastructure.
TernPro, which currently has five full-time employees and is based in downtown Detroit, went through Bizdom’s accelerator this year after Bosche’s fellowship ended. The company snagged the standard $30,000 investment from Bizdom, and Bosche says that TernPro is currently in the midst of raising a $500,000 seed round. So far, TernPro has created videos for more than 25 clients, including Grand Circus, Ministry of Supply in Boston, and Christie’s PureWest in Montana. (Bosche is a Montana native.)
Bosche says the long-term goal is to have TernPro tell all facets of a client’s story, not just video. “We’ll start with video and add content to help them tell their story and market themselves,” he says. “I’d love to be one of the first big [tech startup] wins out of Detroit by building a successful company.”