By Tom Ballard, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
Local entrepreneur Michael Crain created a special name for his start-up. He calls it Vuture, a manufactured word that stands for “video to the future.”
The former Tennessee football team walk-on told teknovation.biz in a recent interview that the inspirations for his new, iOS-based company were his grandfather and his son.
“We had our first son when I was 25 years old,” Crain said. “I started writing down messages that I want my kids to know if I’m not around.” After his second son was born in 2012, he came up with the idea for Vuture.
Crain also says he learned firsthand the importance of capturing memories and messages on video when his grandfather got sick and was unable to do so.
“Vuture will be the only iOS application that allows you to capture priceless memories, thoughts or secrets today and share them at a specified time in the future,” Crain explained.
Our interview occurred before the widespread story over the holidays about Brenda Schmitz, the Iowa mother who left two written letters to her family before she succumbed to ovarian cancer. Her effort, however, underscored what Crain hopes to achieve with Vuture. It’s about video, not just the written word.
“The process is easy,” he says, adding that users will simply record what they want, schedule it, and save the message. “You get to choose with whom you want to share your video and when they will receive it.”
Uses vary from scheduling messages to send to yourself as reminders to pre-recorded videos that appear on a spouse’s mobile device on a birthday or other special occasion or even something like Schmitz’s message after you die.
“The possibilities are endless,” Crain says. “People can share stories, feelings and secrets that might otherwise go unsaid or become forgotten.”
Within a few weeks, the fulltime Marketing Representative with Federated Insurance expects to begin beta testing the app.
“I have a bunch of people I have discussed it with or marketed it to,” Crain says. He hopes to get feedback from about 100 people within two weeks of the start of the beta testing.
“Once the beta has been completed, we will finalize the app and submit it to the Apple App Store for approval,” he says.
Thus far, Crain has self-financed the development of Vuture, but he plans to seek outside investors once the beta testing ends and the Vuture is available in the App Store.
Those wanting to follow Crain’s progress can do so via the company’s Facebook site.