The Edit

Vincent Gibson

Vincent Gibson of Centric App, a video discovery and sharing platform, shares some favourites.

Vincent Gibson is a designer, developer and latterly a consultant in digital production. For the last twenty years, he has been working in agencies, studios, tech start ups, advertising and media organisations with commissions from BBC Scotland amongst others.

Vincent is CEO of Centric App, a video discovery and sharing platform that matches video content from social platforms with local audiences. It grabs Twitter, YouTube and Periscope streams and sorts them by location to show what’s happening around you. Want to know what’s going on right now all over London? Or see what you’re missing around you during a festival at Glastonbury? Open the app, wherever you are, and you will see the latest and nearest videos uploaded across the three networks. Some are live; some have just been recorded. Centric App’s map slider seamlessly filters and users can explore content according to their chosen radius - as close as street level and as far as 22 miles.

Where did the idea for your business come from? In 2010, a listing on Gumtree Glasgow entitled “I have an idea for a video business anyone interested in hearing it?” caught my eye and led me to my first and only blind date. I met Edward Brooks in Little Italy, Byres Road in Glasgow. Ed worked in outsourcing, I had been working at the digital coalface since the 90s with a short deviation to launch a successful Social Enterprise startup in between times. We both saw a future in location based video sharing.

Market opportunity... Mobile is driving UK and international ad spend growth; mobile is expected to overtake TV and desktop spending this year.

How did we fundraise... In 2013, we launched ifussss (yes, four ss), an app that also focused on video filtered by location. We built it, we pulled resources, called in favours and made a ton of mistakes (still making them) but we got a working demo. After an ill fated attempt to get Scottish Enterprise interested, we made the decision to raise private money in NYC if we could. The startup and investment culture is collaborative and positive, fail friendly and most importantly inclusive. We found an angel and were very lucky that he saw this as being a long journey. I took over running the company that we created to New York, split my time between Glasgow and NYC. We built a team that became a small part of the NYC ecosystem. We launched products, we failed but we learned. We pitched for investment. We failed. We raised some more, we pivoted, we created a new product and we began to get it right. We finally launched our latest incarnation Centric App in July 2016. We are just about to announce a new funding round.

VINCENT'S FAVOURITE APPS

Google Maps - Because it helps us connect with others. I don't know how many times I've been asked for directions no matter where I am in the world and I launch google maps and a complete stranger and I work out directions. It's great. It makes locals of us all wherever we are.

AirBnB - Still the best idea to come from the shared economy. I've made so many friends and connections through AirBnb; most hosts leave local guides and notes where to go. I’ve not stayed in a hotel in three years unless I'm on holiday. It's great!

Quartz - News app. Simple text messaging news. Genius.

Uber - The second best idea from the shared economy!

Map My Run - I run and this app is perfect for suggesting new runs locally wherever you are. There are different apps that perform the same task but this was the first one I ever used and it stuck. That's the sign of a great product.

August 2016