News Release

mtvU and Cisco Launch New Student-Run Digital Development Team With Grants Totaling $250,000

mtvU Greenlights Ten Digital Media Programs Submitted By College Students Pioneering The Future Of Broadband Programming

Winning "Digital Incubator" Projects Set To Debut On mtvU, mtvU Über And mtvU Wireless
Apr 19, 2006

New York, NY - April 19, 2006 - mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, and Cisco Systems® today unveiled the first annual mtvU "Digital Incubator" development team - ten student groups funded with $250,000 in grant money and offered a national platform to pioneer the broadband content of tomorrow. The greenlit programs are new media "mash-ups" that combine elements of short-form programming, gaming, social networking, blogging, instant and text messaging, podcasting and mobile phone-based interactivity. The first "Digital Incubator" projects will premiere in May and be an integral part of mtvU's on-air, online, on campus and wireless programming for the next six months.

The winning programs came in response to a call for submissions issued last year looking for online games, movie shorts, music videos or any kind of original content that would thrive on mtvU Über - the first MTV Networks' channel distributed in its entirety over broadband, streaming live 24/7 and on demand. The ten most original and innovative entries were selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 and a national spotlight on mtvU, mtvU Über at, and mtvU's mobile carrier partners. The initiative is part of an ongoing effort to offer college students unlimited opportunities to create and program every aspect of mtvU on their terms.

"The student groups on our first Digital Incubator development team are pushing the boundaries of digital media and we're proud to hand over our network as a laboratory for their creative passion," said Stephen Friedman, GM, mtvU. "These digital pioneers will indelibly shape our broadband and multi-platform programming, and we look forward to working with our partners at Cisco to launch the students' works and careers."

"Broadband is the ideal platform for the innovation and creativity of the first Digital Incubator development team," said Dan Scheinman, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Cisco Systems. "The new forms of storytelling, gaming, and interactivity emerging from the convergence of broadband technologies and entertainment offer endless inspiration for this group of students and for others who will follow their lead. We look forward to working with mtvU and the Digital Incubator development team as they create unique digital content for broadband."

The greenlit Digital Incubator projects are:

SNAGU - New York University
A camera phone-based scavenger hunt where the game provides the "tag" via a text message and players scramble to find the image. The pictures are then uploaded to a community site where college students vote on the best shots and the players are rewarded with great prizes. The game can be scaled from a local competition on a single campus to a mass competition that takes place across the US or world.
Scheduled launch: August

How Do I Say This? - UCLA
Ann Landers-meets-Crank Yankers-meets A site where college students post a dilemma involving a friend/family member (romantic, personal, etc.) and seek advice from an online community. The advice accumulates, is voted on, and helps shape a personalized video acted out by puppets, animated characters or costumed actors. The user can then send the video anonymously to their friend and the friend can respond. Other users will be able to stream the video from or download it as a podcast.
Scheduled launch: September

H!T or SH!T - Georgia Institute of Technology
A social networking media player designed to build affinity groups around similar tastes in content - particularly music. Audience members create a profile, log their friends' contact info and get fed a series of short media clips which they rank as "Hit" - gets passed onto their friends - or not. Members' tastes are tracked and displayed and mini-group games are generated for those with similar interests.
Scheduled launch: October

AUTOCH - University of Washington
An anonymous DXARTS student from the University of Washington who plans to digitize his consciousness and upload it to the Internet.
Scheduled launch: July

i.lime - Howard University
A downloadable, three-dimensional interface which allows college students to communicate visually via major messaging platforms. A user's virtual space is viewed through the eyes of a customizable 3D "Virtual Personal Representative," or through his or her own facial emotions, which can be scanned in and wrapped around the 3DVPR's face.
Scheduled launch: August

Don't Make Her/Him Cry - Pratt Institute
An interactive, choose-your-own video adventure where the user is presented with a series of options and has to make it through a full day without upsetting his or her significant other.
Scheduled launch: August

Tower 8 - Brown University
A comic book rock opera set in a post-apocalyptic world where music is a supernatural force. The Tower 8 web site - which employs fully-animated music videos, flash animation, character blogs and photos - is a window into this webisodic alternate reality. The animated rock group Tower 8 will guide viewers on the journey.
Scheduled launch: October

Slivers - Georgia Institute of Technology
An online video game, integrated with the 2006 mtvU Woodie Awards, which challenges users to match artists and music video "slivers" (silent clips less than 3 seconds in length). The game will be playable via mtvU Über, mtvU wireless, and Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition PCs and Media Center Extenders including the Xbox 360.
Scheduled launch: September

Crates of Cash - University of Denver
Multi-player, socially conscious online video game and high-speed adventure about the life of migrant farm workers. The players are tasked with collecting fruit harvests as fast as they can, earning points for the quantity and quality of the produce. The game is designed to entertain, but also serve as social commentary, drawing attention to critical issues like immigration reform.
Scheduled launch: September

Experimental Gaming Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University
An online gaming tourney populated with games developed and submitted by college students nationwide. The entries will be seeded into competitive brackets and advance based on number of plays and college students' votes. The final four will be featured on mtvU's fall "GameORZ Ball" tour, stopping at campuses across the US this fall.
Scheduled launch: July

Several of the winning student groups were recently surprised on campus with news they'd received up to $25,000 to launch their Digital Incubator programs. To see their reactions, as well as trailers of some of the greenlit projects, please visit: