(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles profiling the teams participating in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s inaugural “The Works” accelerator. The teams will pitch their ideas on September 21 during a “Demo Day” at Scripps Networks Interactive. For more details, click here. Registration deadline is September 16.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“I want to inspire viewers to get off their couches and get out there,” Ryan Duzer says of his mission in life and the videos he produces for DuzerTV.
The Boulder, CO native is participating in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s inaugural “The Works” accelerator. Unlike several of his out-of-state colleagues, Duzer has two connections to Knoxville. His father lives here as does Nick Hollensbee, a Scripps Networks Interactive individual he met when the latter was with the E.W. Scripps Company..
Duzer’s career in video production started a decade ago with a show on Channel 54, a public access television station in Boulder. Titled “Out There,” the show played three times a day and eventually caught the attention of the Daily Camera, Boulder’s local newspaper. That connection led to producing a weekly video adventure series for the newspaper, then owned by E.W. Scripps.
In late 2007, Duzer landed his first gig with the Travel Channel, owned by Scripps Networks, and he began shooting, editing and hosting short segments. His long-term goal is to host a complete show on the cable outlet.
In addition to the Travel Channel, Duzer has also produced shows for The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and CurrentTV. You can view his recent highlights reel at this YouTube link.
It was the Knoxville connections, specifically Hollensbee, who made him aware of the “The Works” and caused him to apply to participate in this year’s cohort.
“It’s been amazing,” Duzer says of the experience. “I love Knoxville. Everyone I’ve met is proud of being from Knoxville.”
Like several of his media colleagues in the program, Duzer cited the changing nature of video production. Not too many years ago, there was a crew or team that produced the short videos. Today, most individuals like Duzer do everything – writing, taping, editing and hosting.
“Everybody can be a broadcaster,” he says, adding the caveat “both good and bad.” Being a one-person band has its challenges.
“I’m now part of a team,” he says of the support system provided by “The Works.”
As far as his goals for the experience, Duzer says he wants to build his personal brand, including his YouTube subscribers, and his social media. When we conducted the interview, he was still deciding which of three ideas he will pitch at the September 21 “Demo Day.”
What’s his favorite show? It’s this one titled Mama Picchu that’s about a single mother of four who has a goal of climbing to the summit of Machu Picchu in spite of heart and physical fitness issues. The site is a 15th century citadel nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru.