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Stephen Casey

LETU alumnus and entrepreneur Stephen Casey has launched a new Austin-based technology company, Datapoint Media Group, revolutionizing the way media content providers engage with their audiences.

This innovative app-based platform ranges from passive uses like providing radio stations with audience listening patterns and real-time, immediate, accurate marketing data on which to base their advertising rates to full live-event audience interaction using smart phone camera-based augmented reality.

Casey said what led R.G. LeTourneau to think outside the box and challenge the status quo was often the thought that "there has to be a better way to do this."

"That's the same thought that led me to think about this, initially as a radio problem, and to find a better way," Casey said, adding that the current rating systems are antiquated, taking 21 days in the top 50 markets for results and often using a statistically irrelevant sample size.

His new product, called Audion, uses digital receiver code put into apps available on Apple and Google platforms that listens for a silent, specific inaudible signal to trigger interaction with a smart phone. This two-way engagement provides the platform to transform media content for Casey's clients.

Casey showcased it recently at the 2018 National Association of Broadcasters "Radio Show" conference and has been testing it in Seattle, Washington.

"Companies want to know who is listening and if their advertising is effective," Casey said. "By recognizing that the smart phone serves as a hub of consumer interaction, we turn casual, passive encounters with media into active, fun opportunities for engagement.

"What truly adds value comes from the broad spectrum of use cases we offer," he said. "For example, we can display an audience on a graphical map where media providers see not just the zip code of where the audience lives, but where they spend their day. If someone commutes an hour, you don't want to advertise a sandwich shop that's by their house while they're on the other side of town. We can geofence it, target advertising, layer ads if people do simulcasts.

Casey said on the other end of the spectrum, a smart phone could represent a virtual sports moment, like swinging a tennis racket or throwing a baseball, enabling the user to "play along" with a game.

"There are lots of great opportunities that we bring to the table," he said. "There's this strategic vacuum in the market, and we are just stepping right into it."

After initially offering this market solution to radio stations, Casey realized that God's vision was much larger than only serving radio.

"Any media can simply spout marketing information and rely on one-directional interaction, yet true dialogue in media engages the audience in a two-way conversation," Casey said. "In a way, it represents the development of our relationship with God. We can launch one-directional prayers, but growth of interaction is when we dialogue and grow in intimacy with our Savior."

Four years ago, Casey contacted LETU computer science professor Dr. Brent Baas to enlist the help of some LETU computer science students to do the "real-world" research to prove the concept would work. The LETU senior design team provided the research that Casey used to launch the new company.

"They did a great job with a proof of concept and proved the vision I had could be done," Casey said.

Datapoint Media Group isn't Casey's first entrepreneurial venture. Casey double-majored in history/political science and biblical studies before receiving a divinity degree and law degree from Regent University in Virginia. In 2009, he launched his own law firm, Casey Law Office, P.C. near Austin, Texas. He recently closed it to pursue launching Datapoint Media Group.

"Launching out as an entrepreneur is a serial LeTourneau-ism," Casey said. "God used the law firm to teach me how to run a business. My time there was for a purpose. Then he moved me somewhere else."

"God's like, 'Look, I didn't call you here because you have all the street cred, I called you because you were willing to be there. But I've taken you through these previous experiences, and all these things are going to come to bear,'" Casey said. "It's all about him, not you. God tells us 'You play the position I have created for you because I'm the head coach. Trust me and grow in intimacy with me. Then you will hear My voice, follow me, and learn to trust Me more. I make good decisions."

Casey said his ultimate goal, frankly, is to become a philanthropist like R.G. LeTourneau. He wants to endow scholarships, subsidize Christian work around the world, and change our culture through kingdom-focused strategies to make an impact on the future.