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Web startup Vuzit nabs $100K from Creative Economy Investment Fund, plans to hire


Sometimes irritation, not necessity, is the mother of invention.
Just ask Brent Matzelle. His Philly-based startup, Vuzit, is an online platform for viewing electronic documents and media that are not designed for online viewing–like PDF files.
“The genesis of the Vuzit product came out of frustration, to me, that electronic documents were never turned into an actual Web page,” Matzelle says. “They were a flat file, and you had to run a product on your computer to view it. It was so incredibly annoying that you had to open another browser to view documents.”
So annoyed was Matzelle, that he began developing Vuzit with Chris Cera about two years ago. In July 2007, he began working on it fulltime.
Essentially, Vuzit displays documents the way YouTube displays videos–with an embeddable element that can be branded and that functions alongside other Web applications (see examples here, here and here). Matzelle says he wanted a way to display documents in such a way that visitors to a Web page could read them and use them, but the owner of the site could keep control.
For the user, Vuzit makes viewing documents more convenient (no longer will programs like Adobe automatically launch–and sometimes freeze–your computer), while for the Web administrator it helps keep traffic on the site and ad revenue flowing in. Recently, the company released an enterprise version of Vuzit, which allows companies to install the platform on an in-house server.
A $100,000 round of financing from the Creative Economy Investment Fund will allow Matzelle and his three fellow employees to oversee a redesign of the Vuzit Web site and hire a VP of sales in the coming months. Within six months, Matzelle says, the company plans to bring on three or four more additional employees.
Source: Brent Matzelle, Vuzit co-founder
Writer: John Davidson
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