“When it comes to creating a TV network, there are three core costs: the cost to license the content, internal operational costs and distribution costs,” says Pablo Salomon, CEO and Co-Founder of Inetsat in Montevideo, Uruguay. “The traditional method of distributing content via satellite is a huge cost for a TV network (typically $20,000 USD per channel per month). That’s where Inetsat can make a huge impact.” Instead of using satellites, Inetsat allows TV networks to deliver channels to cable operators over a low bandwidth internet connections, ultimately saving TV networks 5-10 times the cost. “That’s our initial value proposition.” Inetsat can also help smaller channels launch who can’t coudn’t afford to utilize satellite technology, while also providing primary or disaster recovery channel playout and distribution for other networks.
Despite cable operators being what is considered a dyeing industry, Fortune Magazine named Inetsat as one of the top 10 most innovative Latin American firms in 2013. “Yes we are serving a dying industry, but that’s playing to our favor for now,” states Pablo. TV networks are being pressured to cut costs to compete with Netflix and other OTT offerings and Inetsat can be the tool for traditional TV Cable distribution to compete. “You also have to keep in mind that cable subscribers are still increasing, especially in the developing world. It’s going to take a generational change for the clock to turn in the industry and for cable to start disappearing. By then, we’ll be doing something even more fun.”
Pablo isn’t new to building companies. By age ten, he started developing his first software programs and by 13, started selling it. At age 23 in 1999, he started his first official tech company – a social media business that eventually pivoted and became an instant messaging producer for third party portals. In 2009, the company was acquired by a publicly traded company from India.
“The way I approached my second tech startup was completely different than the first,” explains Pablo. “I learned a lot of things from that first startup. Especially, that forming a business is a long-term commitment. I spent a year researching and tweaking the business concept behind Inetsat before jumping into it.” Pablo cautions would-be-entrepreneurs to be aware of the needed research period before launching a startup. “Entrepreneurs need to recognize that there is a needed period of time where they are validating the idea – a period where your idea matures. They should speak with potential customers and investors about the concept and take into account their advice.”
A second piece of advice Pablo offers is, “the importance of being able to say no. Many entrepreneurs say yes to sales they shouldn’t take on. When you deviate from your business, you lose focus and that can be dangerous to the startup.”