After launching several Madison startups, Jason Weaver’s latest is on demand.
Live webinars are dead. If that sounds like a statement made with too much certitude, consider the reasoning of serial entrepreneur Jason Weaver.
“On demand is how the world works now,” states Weaver, 48, describing his latest company, AirDeck Inc., as an on-demand presentation platform.
“Research shows that only a third of people signing up for webinars actually attend them, and 28% of those who watch webinars sign up after registration is over. They didn’t even make it to the live presentation!” he remarks on the company’s website. “Then, we think we’re clever because we recorded it live so we package it up and send it out as a ‘Hey, just in case you missed this.’ You’re sending them an on-demand presentation anyway, so why not start that way?”
The key, he maintains, is controlling the content and sending it out to a targeted audience that can view it when their schedule allows.
It appears Weaver has impeccable timing. Years ago he launched Shoutlet, a social media platform, just as the Great Recession began. It thrived and was later sold to Austin, Texas-based Spredfast in 2015.
AirDeck launched in March just prior to COVID-19’s economic stranglehold, and this product has Weaver particularly jazzed.
“Using your own voice is as good as being present without having to schedule a live demonstration that few people have time for anymore,” he says.
For a nominal fee, the customizable software allows users to create, narrate, and personalize every slide in a PowerPoint or similar program and quickly change, delete, or update it, as well.
Designed for on-demand use, presenters can track when and where each slide or page is viewed and for how long. Videos or PDFs can easily be inserted, and presentations can be embedded on corporate websites once and updated forever. Best of all, video editing skills are not required, Weaver promises.
He launched AirDeck with sales presentations and funding pitches in mind, but the pandemic opened a market he never considered — educators who suddenly had to provide online instruction. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is now using the platform, as are over 1,000 K–12 schools nationwide. It’s also attracted recruiters, realtors, government departments, a cyber security firm, and even one gentleman who rents exotic cars.
Weaver self-funded AirDeck with a couple of friends, which bought him time in development. “I was not under pressure from investors to hit milestones or a revenue target,” he reports. “I had time to make the product better and better until it was ready to share with the world.”
The company recently received $500,000 in venture capital from a Neenah investor. It has four full-time employees and is currently hiring. “With Shoutlet we added over 100 jobs in Madison,” Weaver reminds. “I’d love to do that again.”