PILOT Announces Winning Teams for 2023 Innovation Challenge

Washington, D.C. March 15, 2023 — PILOT, the technology innovation initiative of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), today announced Backlight, Hour One, and TSV Analytics as the winners of the 2023 PILOT Innovation Challenge. The winners will receive a trip to the 2023 NAB Show, April 15–19, in Las Vegas, with exhibit space on the convention floor in which to demonstrate their products to potential customers, investors, and partners. 

The PILOT Innovation Challenge specifically sought products or prototypes that align with three focus areas of the 2023 NAB Show associated with the content lifecycle: Create, Capitalize, and Connect. Winning submissions provided compelling solutions to key challenges and opportunities facing broadcasters over the coming two to three years. 

This year’s winners are:

  • Backlight: Iconik, a Backlight product, is a cloud-native solution that gathers and organizes media securely from any storage, providing a central point at which teams can gather, find assets and collaborate using any device. With hassle-free media collaboration and powerful automation features, iconik enables teams to streamline and accelerate editorial workflows.
  • Hour One: Hour One enables a single person to generate video quickly at low cost and high scale. The solution provides an AI-driven, entirely virtual broadcast video platform, complete with lifelike virtual news anchors and customizable 3D news studios. It includes script- and image-generation features to further remove friction from broadcast news creation.
  • TSV Analytics: TSV Analytics is an analytical social media management platform designed to make social media content more effective. Designed to help social media managers across all stages of the content creation process, from content ideation to creation to distribution, the platform streamlines and optimizes the social media management process.

“Hour One, Backlight, and TSV Analytics stood out from an exceptional pool of Innovation Challenge applications that deliver practical and business benefits our industry can use today,” said PILOT Executive Director John Clark. “These startups stood out as exceptional to our judges for the direct way in which they tackle immediate and future challenges with specific, ready-to-use solutions that can help broadcasters tell compelling stories. We look forward to seeing these impressive teams and their winning products on the NAB Show floor.”

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Hour One represents the second year in a row a startup associated with the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University has been named an Innovation Challenge winner, following Spalk’s selection in 2022.


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 www.nabpilot.org.

About NAB Show

NAB Show, held April 15 – 19, 2023 in Las Vegas, is celebrating its centennial year as the preeminent conference and exhibition driving the evolution of broadcast, media, and entertainment. It is the ultimate marketplace for next-generation technology inspiring superior audio and video experiences. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways. For complete details, visit www.nabshow.com.

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 www.nab.org.

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