Posted: July 01, 2013
Minority Businessperson of the Year finalist: Andrés EspiñeiraBy Gigi Sukin
If you’ve attended a concert, wedding or other remarkable event in the last decade, you may have noticed the swelling sea of smartphones overhead, used to capture clips of such memorable moments.
Andrés Espiñeira noticed and decided to capitalize on the mass craving to share audiovisual stories.
The founder and CEO of Pixorial Inc. aims to connect people through video storytelling – both in the Colorado community and around the world.
An immigrant from Venezuela with Spanish roots, Espiñeira relocated to the U.S. to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He earned his business and technology stripes working for Oracle and Netscape in the companies’ formative years and later relocated to Colorado to raise his family.
Throughout his international journey, Espiñeira explained that photos and videos have been powerful tools to stay connected with family from afar. He recalls a particular evening a few years back spent plunging into a collection of his childhood home videos with extended family members, during which he was inspired.
“As an entrepreneur … I felt compelled to unlock those precious experiences caught on video and make it possible for people to share with one another meaningfully,” Espiñeira said. “It used to be that the only person telling a story was the person who shot the video. This adds the conversational dynamic.”
With an understanding of the consumer technology market, Espiñeira and his team developed Pixorial, enabling users to do more with video by digitizing and converting the media from any format.
Unlike other video sharing services, Pixorial – now managed by a 12-person team – is free and enables people to create private video groups, perfect for families to share with no length limit for usable files on the platform.
Moreover, with the addition of Krowds, a social component that allows customers to easily discover, contribute and join in the shared video experience, the app’s base has expanded to more than 300,000.
Rather than concentrate on a single market in the U.S., Espiñeira has gotten back to his roots, with a great deal of success in Latin America.
“People were sending us stuff in broken English, so we decided to help them out and send it back in Spanish, if they requested. That’s where I came from… where the inspiration was born,” said Espiñeira.
As such, 20 percent to 30 percent of Pixorial’s users access the online and mobile tool from Spanish-speaking countries.
The video guru hopes to increase his community outreach efforts moving forward, expanding the diversity of his personal and professional networks to “bring in unique worldviews, rather than meet quotas.”
Regardless of race, religion or other identifiers, “We’re trying to bring everyone together around experiences as easily as possible,” said Espiñeira.M
Gigi Sukin is an Associate Editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.