Tech startup: MindAptiv
From video software to big data, this company has major plans
Initial Lightbulb: Mindaptiv co-founders Ken Granville and John “Jake” Kolb worked together on various consulting projects at InVisM in Greenwood Village, with a collective resume spanning from videogames and virtual reality to telecom and enterprise systems.
The concept for MindAptiv evolved over time, and the focus tightened into video software “to solve the parallel processing problem,” Granville says. In 2014, the business plan pivoted to its current illumin8 video platform, but the long-term vision for the company extends into numerous industries that rely on big data.
“We are going to the core of computing,” Granville says. “The implications are staggering.”
The company now has about 25 employees and relocated from the Innovation Pavilion in Centennial to a 20,000-square-foot office in southeast Denver in July.
In a Nutshell: MindAptiv’s illumin8 is a suite of three video apps – a player, an encoder and an effects creator – for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS.
The player allows CPUs to process video about 100 times faster than legacy technology, says Granville, and the encoder – branded Reduce – can take a 250-megabyte video and transform it into “maybe four megabytes, without compromising quality.” The effects software, a.k.a. illumin8 Conjure, “is an amazing, creative tool,” he adds.
Granville describes the underlying technology as an “object-based computing solution” based on the underlying platform’s artificial intelligence. “It gives you unprecedented control of the data,” he says, and allows for desktop computers to easily handle high-definition video with limited bandwidth.
He says HBO’s next startup sitcom after “Silicon Valley” should be called “DTC,” dubbing Reduce a better utility than the former show’s fictional compression platform. “It’s quite literally better than the Pied Piper algorithm,” he says. “It’s a complex data transform. It’s not compression.”
The combination of edge detection and detail color recognition “is almost the way humans process spatial data,” he explains. “We walk into a room, we don’t focus on the room; we focus on objects in it.”
Compression algorithms “are using mathematical approximation to fill in detail. We’re not,” says Granville. “You can make it the size of a stadium screen, and you won’t lose a pixel.”
Granville says he wants to take illumin8 to digital distribution platforms like Netflix, touting its scalability. “It will allow Netflix to go from 120 versions of video down to one and reduce [streaming data] to a fraction of the size.”
He further describes the platform as a solution that extends beyond digital video into “solving big data problems ... in a variety of industries from entertainment to health care to security.”
Michael Cushman, director of Vizionarium at the DaVinci Institute in Westminster, has followed MindAptiv since 2014. “We saw it as a different paradigm for computing,” he says. “Primarily, it’s based on semantic intelligence. The operating system essentially writes the code.”
Cushman’s takeaway for illumin8? “It’s really revolutionary,” he says. “You know the expression, ‘Software will eat the world’? I think semantic intelligence will eat software.”
The Market: Massive and growing. Cisco Systems forecasts video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2017. Cisco further projects that 1 million minutes of video will cross the global network every second of every day.
Financing: Granville says the company was bootstrapped until 2013, but has brought in outside capital in the last three years. “We’ve since raised just over $5 million, all from angel investors.”