Team Profile: Project Optix

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012

Team Name: Project Optix
Team Members: VelaSusan Park (Yale College ’13), Debayan Gupta (Yale Computer Science PhD ’14), Derrick Gomez
Industry: Movie & Entertainment / Marketplace Technology

The Pitch

More Movies. For Less.

We love watching movies, and we’d watch even more movies if they were just less expensive. So we developed a technology that analyzes movie theater attendance at a hyper-local level to create a dynamically priced marketplace for discounted movie tickets.  We deliver competitive deals to our moviegoers and drive new sources of revenue to theaters and studios. Think of us as a, for the movies.

The Team

VelaSusan Park - Vela is a rising senior in Yale College with a major in Political Science. She has worked extensively in startups both in China and the US, and is a founding member of the World Sustainability Organization in Beijing.  She served as a brand ambassador to Lee Coopers, the oldest denim brand in Europe, at Lee Coopers’ first flagship store in Beijing.  Vela has also interned at the United Nations, utilizing her skills to speak 5 languages fluently (English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Spanish). As CEO,  Vela imbues Project: OpTix with her passion, leadership and vision.

Debayan Gupta - Debayan is currently pursuing his PhD in Computer Science from Yale. He is the Chair for LOGICS, the Yale Computer Science graduate student organization, and holds the Physical Sciences seat in the Yale Graduate & Professional Student Senate. Debayan is a successful serial entrepreneur who owns a web security & consultancy business and a real estate e-commerce marketplace.  He has also created a novel computer architecture (patent pending) which exponentially speeds up caching in multi-core systems. As the Chief Technology Officer for Project Optix, Debayan is responsible for technology, platform development, mobile development, web security, analytics and ticket optimization algorithms.

Derrick Gomez - Derrick is a multidisciplinary entrepreneur that develops transmedia advertising & content marketing for brands.  His clients include: American Express, Rockstar Games, Microsoft: XBOX, New Era, Craftsman Tools, Harvard Yard, Black Eyed Peas, Yves Saint Laurent, Vibe, Vogue, NY Times, MTV, NBC and Madison Square Garden Entertainment.  He has also worked as a media properties consultant to broker the acquisition, licensing and distribution rights for TV and Film content with 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, CBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment. As President / Chief Creative Officer of Project Optix, Derrick will be in charge of operations, business development, accounts, brand development, design, marketing & strategy.

What problems did you see that led you to develop Project Optix?
The average movie screening in the theaters is 88% empty. This means that there are over 11 billion empty movie theater seats per year in the US alone and over 100 billion dollars in potential sales left untouched annually.  These empty seats are remnant inventories whose value is forever lost by the time the movie has been screened.  As die-hard movie fans who want to see those seats sold at a cheaper price, we set out to build a technology to address this gross inefficiency and take advantage of this enormous opportunity.

How is the Project Optix solution different?
Currently, there are several websites that offer discounted movie tickets in bulk discounts such as Fandango or Groupon. However, there is no singular destination platform specifically designed to optimize movie tickets prices.   Our technology avoids cannibalizing a theaters existing consumer base while dynamically populating movie screenings that would otherwise be empty & unpopular.  Our moviegoers enjoy tremendous discounts and movie theaters can tap into a great wealth of new revenue.

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