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Innovation & Job News

Startupland documentary series launches Kickstarter campaign

Startupland, an independent documentary series that features five D.C. startups housed in Fortify Ventures, launches a Kickstarter campaign today. The series, which is directed and produced by independent filmmaker Justin Gutwein, is shooting for a fall 2013 release date.
"We're planning a sneak peek premiere in the fall, with the rest [of the series] not too far behind," says Gutwein. The goal on Kickstarter is to raise $75,000. "[How well we achieve that goal] affects the speed at which we can execute."
Startupland examines what Gutwein calls the real life of a startup entrepreneur, which he believes is vastly different to how entrepreneurs are currently portrayed in the media on programs such as Shark Tank. "It's overglorified," he explains. "They show money being thrown around, people playing ping-pong and everyone's a billionaire. In reality, it's hard work and it's a struggle. [Entrepreneurs] quit jobs where they are working 40 to 50 hours a week making $70,000 to $80,000 to work 80 to 90 hours a week and make next to nothing until [the] revenue comes. What kind of person does that?"
In addition to introducing viewers to the kinds of people who "do that," Gutwein is including the voices of seasoned entrepreneurs, angels and VCs in the series. The hope is that Startupland will become an inspirational and educational tool. Gutwein elaborates, "There is a mystery and a veil around accelerators. Ninety-five percent of companies that apply to accelerators don't get into them. For the people that don't have access to accelerators, [Startupland] will give [them] that access." 
Gutwein anticipates between 6 and 10 episodes of Startupland, each lasting 22 minutes, "in case a network wants it." He and Fortify Ventures founder Jonathon Perrelli are planning to distribute the series directly to viewers via a paywalled website. The episodic nature of Startupland is key, says Gutwein. "I have a laundry list of films I don't have time to watch. But I can watch an episode [of a series] on the Metro or while scarfing down a sandwich."
A teaser trailer for the series is available on the Startupland website.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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