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Digital Dealmakers: David Dudas

Feb 26, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The player: David Dudas, co-founder and chief technology officer for Eyespot

The play: Eyespot’s online video editing software lets users polish their video creations to post on user-generated sites. Mr. Dudas and co-founder Jim Kaskade created the company to offer a simple video editing tool for consumers to improve their videos. “You can drag and drop, you can cut a little bit off the beginning or end. It’s like putting Legos together,” Mr. Dudas said. Users can do basic edits, sequence video clips, add music and effects and insert titles. Eyespot also works with content owners; it inked a pact last week with the National Basketball Association for Web site visitors to make their own NBA highlight reels. Eyespot also expects to announce deals with social-networking sites and aims to work with video sites, record labels, film studios and broadcasters.

The pitch: In addition to editing video online, Eyespot users can download their videos into various digital formats and send the videos to mobile phones. “The people that are using [Eyespot] tend to be high-schoolers, college-age kids or young parents. They are shooting kids’ birthday parties, skateboarding videos or friendship montages,” Mr. Dudas said.

In the mix: Mr. Dudas said Eyespot does not square off against more sophisticated software from Pinnacle or Apple. Eyespot does compete against other browser-based software editing tools such as those from Motionbox, Gotuit, OneTrueMedia and Jumpcut.

Backstory: Mr. Dudas and Mr. Kaskade founded the company in San Diego in 2005 because they both had been shooting video of their young kids and wanted to easily edit and share the footage.

The money guys: The pair bootstrapped the company for six months and then raised $500,000 from friends and family. Last fall, Eyespot raised $3.7 million from Gabriel Venture Partners and Express Ventures. Mr. Dudas expects the company to become profitable some time next year.

Pros: With online video consumption growing daily, technology providers now are offering consumers the tools to refine their videos.

Cons: The biggest challenge is managing growth, Mr. Dudas said. “We are turning deals away because we don’t have the number of people to implement the deal flow. We are going to raise some more money and hire some more people to keep up with the demand.”

Background: Mr. Dudas, 38, was born and raised in Detroit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Michigan State University. He lives in San Diego with his wife and young daughter. He previously was director of engineering at Vivendi Universal/MP3.com.

Who knew? Mr. Dudas said he likes to read books about the convergence of Eastern philosophy, Western philosophy and modern religion with quantum physics. One of his favorites is “The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life.” He said, “It’s written by a father and son, one of whom is a French philosopher and the other is a Tibetan Buddhist monk. This book is a great primer for anyone who is interested in the framework in which these polar-opposite perspectives can be compared.”