Jeremy Gocke’s years in college at the U.S. Military Academy taught him many things that have served him throughout his career, most obviously the training to become a systems engineer. But it was something less tangible that he took from that rigorous experience that has fueled his entrepreneurial drive.
“I learned pretty early on at West Point that I wasn’t great at taking orders, so I knew someday I’d be doing my own thing,” Gocke says. Now 44, Gocke is C.E.O. of his fourth start-up, Ampsy, which provides hyperlocal social media aggregation and analytics for events. It’s a concept that he can trace back to his years in the Army, when he worked on a team that was in charge of communications between commanders overseas—in places like Bosnia and Libya—and the Pentagon and White House. “That’s when I started to learn about location and GPS and what would later become the Ampsy idea,” he says.
Gocke started the company in 2014 to capture and analyze hashtag campaigns for brands, entertainers, and events. But gradually Gocke and his team realized content was getting lost because users were either misspelling or not using hashtags. So in 2016, they decided to focus on what had been a small piece of their product—hyperlocal social aggregation and analytics. Using Ampsy, brands and event hosts create a geofence, or virtual boundary, around their venue or event location, and the system can identify and analyze all posts on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, and several other platforms that originate from within that area.
In February, Gocke worked with Visit Houston and the Houston Super Bowl Committee to monitor social buzz related to the big game. That led to an introduction to Destination Marketing Association International and the subsequent signing of a strategic partnership with that association so members can use Ampsy at a discount. Up next, Gocke is developing a visual recognition engine to help brands identify people wearing their logo at events.
“Imagine any brand—a Nike or a Monster Energy for example—that is involved in major events across music, sports, lifestyle, entertainment. They are always interested in finding out who the influencers are at those events that they’ve sponsored,” Gocke says. “We can provide that data, and now we can surface images that contain their brand logo and provide that data back to them. So now they have the ability to do sponsorship measurement around the events they sponsor.”
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