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January 28, 2019

PILOT Reveals Innovation Challenge Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- PILOT, an innovation initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters, announced the winners of its third annual PILOT Innovation Challenge at the NAB Futures conference in Seattle. The PILOT Innovation Challenge recognizes creative ideas that leverage technological advances in the production, distribution and display of engaging content.

Over 100 concepts were submitted to address the challenge question, “What is an innovative way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?” A panel of judges selected the top six winners from 12 finalists. Conference attendees determined the placement of the top six winners following live pitch presentations at NAB Futures.

Thanks in part to a grant from Knight Foundation, the six winners were awarded cash prizes ranging from $15,000-$30,000. They will also receive relevant mentorship, access to key broadcast executives and significant exposure at industry events, like the annual NAB Show, held April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

This year’s winners are:

  • FlyRight - Samuel Crane
    Software solution that streamlines drone flight registration for media groups and local law enforcement.
  • Podium - Daniel Lewis, Tufts University
    Provides a platform for the public to participate in virtual town halls and crowdsourced interviews.
  • Zagrut - Mario Dcunha, The New School
    Zagrut is a news reader app that guides users against prevalent media bias.
  • AR Stories - Retha Hill, Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University
    Provides a cost-effective way to create immersive AR stories quickly and without having to understand code.
  • I.D.E.A - Ronald Baez, Yellow Wood Immersive
    I.D.E.A is an immersive and interactive 3D mapping tool for use by broadcasters to visualize the effects of weather emergencies.
  • Lawmaking Live - Rodney Gibbs, The Texas Tribune
    Provides live analysis of policy development and makes the law-making process more accessible to consumers.
  • Additional information about the PILOT Innovation Challenge is available here.

    About PILOT
    PILOT is a coalition of innovators, educators and advocates dedicated to advancing broadcast technology and cultivating new media opportunities. PILOT propels broadcast television and radio into the future. It provides a platform for innovation, an engine for incubation, a venue for testing new technologies and a forum for broadcaster education. Learn more at

    About NAB
    The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at

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