Dan Slagen has quite the track record as a member of the Boston tech community. Starting out as a product management and search engine optimization expert for Wayfair, he eventually ended up at HubSpot, serving as the inbound marketing company’s head of advertising and then head of global marketing relations. After stints at Facebook advertising company Nanigans and Harvard-founded startup Hourly Nerd, Slagen thought it was about time to do his own thing.
Today, he is launching SpeechBooth, a standalone app-based wedding video system.
SpeechBooth has two basic components. Before their event, users sign up to receive a box that includes a microphone, lighting, a tripod, and an iPad. When the big day comes, they can set up the system to record commentary from attendees. After the event host or wedding couple sends the collected speeches back to the company, the SpeechBooth team then edits the content to create a personalized Wistia video that is sent to the customer within a week. SpeechBooth does all this for $499.
Slagen, SpeechBooth’s founder and chief executive, explained where the idea of the company came from: “Last year was my year of weddings, and by the time I got to wedding five, six, or seven, the idea for SpeechBooth became pretty clear,” he said. “We realized that there was no way to leave a nice video message for the couple getting married.”
Slagen said that he and co-founder Wil Lockman thought it was a problem they could solve, so they wrote an app and tried to figure out how to scale the idea. “It seemed like the wedding industry was mostly regional. If you are a videographer or photographer based in Boston, the furthest you are going to travel is probably New York,” he said. “So we started to think how can we scale this thing and spread it across the country.”
That’s when they developed the SpeechBooth kit. “We’ll ship anywhere,” Slagen said, “The entire kit can be set up in two minutes, and then be quickly taken down and sent back to us.”
SpeechBooth has been in testing mode over the past year and expects to announce some new wedding industry partners this year. Thus far, the company has been bootstrapped by the founding team. When I asked Slagen if the recent HubSpot and Wayfair IPOs may have generated some of the money to help get the company off the ground, he laughed. “No comment,” he said.