Founder Stories


Joe Ellis and Dan Morozoff, co-founders of Vidrovr, are onto something big. Both PhD candidates at Columbia University, Ellis and Morozoff have leveraged their technical expertise in building distributed systems with a high capacity for real-time data processing, and applied it to their new venture.

The team, advised by Professor Shih-Fu Chang of the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, boasts years of combined professional experience at Google, NASA, and IBM; they’ve designed algorithms that utilize multiple facets of multimedia streams concurrently; and they’ve published and patented foundational research across a range of topics, from machine learning to multimodal information processing.

Now, the duo has set out on their own project. Vidrovr, founded in April 2016, utilizes technologies originally developed for News Rover — Ellis and Morozoff’s award-winning system for processing thousands of hours of television news content. With the catchphrase, “Digital Media meets Computer Vision and Machine Learning,” Vidrovr addresses three key market needs:

  1. Domain and customer specific automatic metadata generation for videos
  2. Video Content Management solutions that enable automatic placement and recommendation of video clips for digital products
  3. Automatically linking and sourcing visual social media content relevant to a particular video or online article before it’s published

According to Ellis, Vidrovr’s overarching objective is “to help anyone with large video collections disseminate their content into more meaningful places on the web, with the dual goal of increasing the internet’s educational value, and making it a more beautiful place in general.”

And so far, their venture is off to an impressive start. Vidrovr was selected to participate in NYC Media Lab’s startup incubator Combine, and has already obtained pre-seed convertible note and grant funding to apply their patented technologies to value searching and indexing video collections for large media corporations. What’s more, Vidrovr was just selected as one of the top 12 teams (out of 3,500 applicants) by the Publicis Groupe in its Publicis 90 Startup Competition.

The team is currently developing pilot programs and a cloud-based video processing and understanding infrastructure, with the hope that their technologies will provide value to newsrooms, archivists, and digital product creators. They’re also looking to build out their team with talented and qualified engineers.


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