You’d think that being selected as a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards would be exciting. But you’re not David Ciccarelli, who has also been selected by Google as one of only three Canadians to participate in the “Google Glass Explorer” pilot program.
Sensing the interest, and feeling the need to share, he recently invited anyone at all in the London, Ontario area to attend an open house and get a look at Google’s new creation.
The turnout surprised him. “Two hundred people showed up for the open house at Voices.com and after a brief 10-minute presentation, I proceeded to give demos to everyone who was interested. Three hours later, everyone who had lined up got a demo!” he told Advertising Industry Newswire.
Last February, during a residency in Silicon Valley, Google held their famous “If I Had Glass” competition, which invited anyone at all to submit a tweet describing what they would do if with a preliminary version of the technology.
Ciccarelli’s pitch was simple: “As an audio engineer,” he wrote, “I will do something incredibly entrepreneurial with sound or the human voice.”
From over 200,000 submissions, David’s was selected. He had to travel down to New York City to receive an orientation from a Google staffer, and even managed to demo the thing for Paul Shaffer.
Ciccarelli has since given Google Glass demos on BNN, CTV’s Canada AM, and at a meeting at his own office, where more than two-hundred people showed up to have a look.
Meanwhile, Voices.com, which recently surpassed 100,000 active members, acts as a service to connect voice-over talent with potential clients.
The success of Voices.com has had at least as much to do with Ciccarelli’s forward thinking about how people interact with the internet as with the fact that there’s talent out there looking for employment. After implementing a responsive website overhaul in June (the importance of which is still lost on many business websites), Voices.com saw its traffic increase 43%.
“As a result of our responsive design implementation, visitors to the Voices.com site are more engaged and staying on the website for longer periods of time,” said Ciccarelli. “People are visiting more often with 86 percent of members visiting daily. Of those visitors, they are also staying 17 percent longer on the site than they were just a year ago.”
Ciccarelli has the Ontario Ernst & Young awards gala to look forward to in October, where a regional winner will be selected. In November, an entrepreneur is selected to represent Canada at the international award ceremony in Monte Carlo.
“The company has not only created fantastic career opportunities for our employees, but also opportunities for an entire industry,” he responded to the nomination. “We are a tech company that helps people, and we are honoured to be acknowledged by Ernst & Young for our efforts.”
Voices.com supplies voiceover talent to an expanding roster of clients, which include ABC, NBC, ESPN, PBS, and The History Channel.