His first client was the Little White Wedding Chapel north of the Strip. He negotiated a deal to broadcast their weddings live online. The first was in January 2001 for a Scottish couple, and nearly 200 people logged on to watch.
Babic still streams about 1,000 weddings a year there, but his business has expanded considerably. He broadcast the World Series of Poker for a few years and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
This year alone, iStreamPlanet broadcast the Super Bowl, Tour de France and London Summer Olympics, as well as political debates and corporate events.
On pace to broadcast 370 live events this year, the company streams content to cell phones, tablets, Xbox consoles and other Internet-connected devices.
Babic has about 60 employees, including more than 20 in Las Vegas. He has satellite offices in London and Redmond, Wash., and sales reps in New York, Cincinnati and Phoenix.
The company has raised at least $9 million of investor capital, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records, and revenue has soared. This year, Inc. magazine named iStream to its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies, ranking it No. 3,231.
According to the magazine, iStream earned $4.5 million of revenue last year, up 63 percent from $2.8 million in 2008.
They aren't exactly the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, but Leith Martin's telecommunications products have quite a ring to them: TINA, NINA, justINA and EDWINA.
As co-founder and CEO of Ubiquita, Martin sells Internet-based phone, voice mail and fax services, as well as spam and virus protection. He said he has 20 to 30 clients, all small businesses in Las Vegas, and more than $2 million of investor capital.
The company, founded in 2010, is mainly focused on building TINAs ("Telephony Integrated Network Appliances") and, to a lesser extent, NINAs ("Nano Internet Network Appliances"), both of which allow phone and fax services to be accessed online.
The other two devices are listed on the company's website, but Martin said they haven't been produced in any significant volume. EDWINA stands for "Enterprise Data-center Wide-area Internet Network Appliance," while justINA is "Just Internet Network Appliance."
Martin doesn't sell the devices but places them in clients' offices. Data that pass through them are stored in the appliances and in off-site servers.
The company hopes to expand its customer base into Reno, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area over the next 12 to 18 months, Martin said.
If all goes well for Kevin Collignon, he will be despised by college athletes around the country.
The 22-year-old Las Vegas native founded AthleteHall, a website that lets faculty better monitor student-athletes' academic performance. Coaches get weekly reports on study hall attendance, alerts are sent when grades slip, and faculty can check automated progress reports.
Collignon has no outside funding and only a few people working with him. But eight schools already use the site, and he is in negotiation with 10 to 15 others.
Student-athletes must follow a host of rules to stay eligible for their sports and scholarships, and they are monitored with progress reports on grades, absences and study hall attendance.
According to Collignon, students can fabricate their reports and turn them in. Also, it can be hard for faculty to detect academic problems quickly because the reports are on paper and, thus, difficult to analyze in bulk. AthleteHall, however, can spit out data showing that certain groups of players cut class or dodge homework, while highlighting others' tumbling grades.
"You can set them up with tutors, advisers or give them more study hall hours," Collignon said.
A Bishop Gorman High School graduate, Collignon went to the University of Northern Colorado on a golf scholarship.
The website Meetup has changed the way many people socialize, offering get-togethers for strangers with shared interests. But as Mark Johnson sees it, there's plenty of room for improvement.
Johnson co-founded Ayloo, a mobile app that he said will soon be available and will let people organize social events.
While Meetup charges all organizers a fee, Johnson plans for his service to be free. Ayloo organizers would pay only if their events carry a cost, he said.
Johnson said customers have complained about the quality of Meetup's mobile app, and his research indicates people would have no qualms using a different site.
He is developing the app full-time with a few others. They have no outside funding yet.
Internet surveys are about as far from scientific as you can get.
Questions are posted online and only the people who happen to drop in and answer them create the results. Respondents are not targeted through random sampling, and there is no pre-determined sample size. The answers collected can't be seen as reflecting what the general public thinks.
But people still take the surveys and check the results, a fact that Porter Haney and Jimmy Jacobson see as a business opportunity.
They founded Wedgies, an online social polling service that allows customer-generated polls to be pasted into Twitter feeds, emails and text messages.
The company says it provides "simple surveys to share with friends." Results are produced quickly.
"It's about fast data and maybe even small data," Jacobson said in a video on the Wedgies website. "You know, if you're just asking your friends where you want to eat for lunch, you want to know that quickly."
Local tech financier VegasTechFund, whose partners include Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, invested in Wedgies. SEC records show the startup has raised at least $500,000 of investor capital.
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women