Experienced local entrepreneur becomes new CEO of live video streaming provider – GrepBeat

LiveSwitch CEO Brian Hamilton. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Sageworks.

LiveSwitch, a startup provider of live interactive video application technology that was born in Canada but now has a second headquarters in Raleigh, has a new CEO at the helm.

Veteran Triangle entrepreneur Brian Hamilton became the company’s new CEO this month after making a significant investment in the startup previously known as Frozen Mountain last year.

This is by no means Hamilton’s first foray into the startup world. Hamilton co-founded Raleigh-based fintech Sageworks and ran it as CEO before it was acquired by PE firm Accel-KKR in 2018. Between his time at Sageworks and LiveSwitch, the former Download Q&A-Subject has been active in community service, most notably with its eponymous Brian Hamilton Foundation.

He even founded and starred in an international program called Inmates to Entrepreneurs that teaches people with criminal records to start their own businesses Free Company, a TV show that aired on ABC that spotlighted ex-convicts as they worked to build their own businesses. (We wrote about the show last April.)

In LiveSwitch, Hamilton sees a company at the cutting edge of video technology that can enable businesses to connect with customers and create new revenue streams with ultra-low latency. It was a challenge Hamilton felt up to and worth getting back into the entrepreneurial game with both feet on.

While many viewed video streaming as something prompted by the rapidly changing work and school environments fostered by the pandemic, Hamilton sees LiveSwitch’s role in society as something much bigger.

It’s the kind of technology that enables a business meeting to overcome airfare, travel delays, or regional connections.

“Some people think it was a Covid phenomenon,” Hamilton said. “For me it was a long phenomenon. It’s going to affect every part of our lives, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Hamilton is now joining a board that includes LiveSwitch founders (and brothers), Jerod Venema and Anton Venema.

Hamilton describes LiveSwitch as the Intel chip for the video business, essentially a key element that enables companies to build on their technology. And the company has a lot more in store to drive enhanced video experiences beyond the Zoom experiences that many workers and students have grown accustomed to.

“Most video experiences are very static,” Hamilton said. “They don’t have much life. There aren’t many connections.”

LiveSwitch differentiates itself as a video tech platform because of its lower latency (which means less time lag between hearing your words and seeing your gestures on the video). They can also accommodate many more concurrent users than the competition, Hamilton said.

The way here

In every entrepreneurial endeavor Hamilton has undertaken, he has always sought to improve the quality of life for others.

It started with the laundromat chain he built after college. He saw a way to improve the experience for people who can’t afford their own washers and dryers.

With Sageworks, he envisioned a company that could help small businesses thrive.

And now he’s working on a more real and intimate video experience so we can communicate in more meaningful ways.

As the newly minted CEO of LiveSwitch, he’s also focused on growing recurring revenue and making sure employees feel engaged.

“We want to make it an engaging place to work, a very exciting place to work,” Hamilton said. “When you run a business, you have the people, you have the customers, and you have the investors. We want to make sure all three are happy.”

Reaching profitability and scaling to new customers are just a few things LiveSwitch is getting closer to as the startup nears the end of 2022.

“We’re at the very beginning of what’s possible for video,” Hamilton said. “We’re not even in the middle. We are at the very beginning. So we want to be an innovator. We want to make a difference.”

Still, LiveSwitch is very much the brainchild of the Venemas, and Hamilton doesn’t expect to be the company’s CEO for decades. He said he’s coming on board temporarily to bring his experience to the helm of the company.

“Jerod Venema and Anton Venema are absolute visionaries in this industry,” said Hamilton. “I firmly believe in the current management.”

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