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InnoBright signs beta customers, seeks funding

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — InnoBright Technologies founder and CEO Raghu Kopalle interviewed more than 75 potential customers during his three months participating in the ABQid business accelerator last fall.

KOPALLE: Launched InnoBright in 2014

KOPALLE: Launched InnoBright in 2014

InnoBright, which Kopalle launched last year with two partners, is marketing technology from the University of New Mexico that greatly speeds and improves the rendering process for video animation, potentially saving time and money for users in a variety of imaging industries.

Through ABQid’s “lean startup” strategy of rigorously testing a product or idea with potential customers, Kopalle lined up 12 industry partners willing to beta test InnoBright’s technology. He’s now reaching out to more companies.

“I talked with over 75 customers in the animation and visual effects industries, but there are actually four more market segments that we can still target, such as gaming and commercials,” Kopalle said. “We’re reaching out to companies in those other segments now, but we’ve already picked a dozen beta customers who said they will work with us.”

The real-world testing and pivoting process weren’t new concepts for Kopalle, who had previously worked with a startup in the video streaming industry. But ABQid imposed discipline to make those strategies a fundamental part of InnoBright’s business development.

“The program makes entrepreneurs accountable for seeking out customers for market validation,” Kopalle said. “It puts you through the rigor, and also improves your industry contacts and network of entrepreneurs.”

Meanwhile, through mentoring from investors at ABQid, InnoBright also pivoted on its fund-raising strategy. The company had been seeking $2.7 million in “early stage” capital and had presented to investors at Technology Venture Corp.’s Deal Summit in Albuquerque last October.

But InnoBright is now raising a six-figure “seed round” instead to build more value in the company before seeking a larger early stage investment, Kopalle said.

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