Cambridge Judge EMBAs Develop Streaming News Platform

Cambridge Judge EMBAs

Each year, Cambridge Judge EMBA students are required to participate in a Team Consulting Project. This project allows participants to focus on a particular business challenge that they, or a business they represent, are facing. This year, Stephen Lile, who had already co-founded four technology companies, brought his idea for a new global ad-sponsored streaming news network to the table: Eyewit.

The idea for Eyewit came about after Lile observed a growing number of people deserting traditional cable and TV formats. “Research suggests that there will be 120 million TV refugees in the United States by 2020, and another 16 million in the UK. This ‘Netflix effect’ is driving millions of households away from broadcast news services and towards the internet,” explained Lile in an interview.

Eyewit will work as a cross-platform app offering life-streamed news broadcasts for free. University-based anchor desks, as well as a community of crowd-sourcing journalists, will gather the news. Its goal is to battle fake news, extremism and radicalism. “Eyewit would always be the first news agency on location because the world is our reporter,” said Lile. “This is a very disruptive force, and will serve to advance the cause of democracy.”

For Lile, basing the news on anchor desks out of universities was a vital step. So, his investors encouraged him to return to school to develop his idea on the ground. That’s when he visited the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School and then started with the EMBA program in September 2016. “This was one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Lile.

Lile is part of an EMBA class that represents 28 nationalities and over 30 industry sectors. It makes it the perfect environment to network and utilize to develop Eyewit. So far, his experience has allowed him to take stock of all his achievements and to determine where his career will head next.

“The EMBA is a departure from the madness, and it’s an oasis of wonderment to me,” he said. “It’s like going to Hogwarts. I’m both student and mentor here. I literally have 80 new best friends, and I love them all. I’m considering sticking around a bit longer to get a Ph.D., but I’d like to be a mentor for other entrepreneurs and act as a conduit to Silicon Valley. I’m still sorting it out, but whatever happens, it’s going to be a great ride.”

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