Waterloo students’ AI skills support video streaming tech development at Eon Media

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Eon Media founder Ashish Agrawal and Waterloo co-op student working in a company booth at a conference

By: Krista Henry (she/her)

A new age of video streaming technology is changing the media landscape through artificial intelligence (AI). Eon Media, based in Toronto, is utilizing University of Waterloo’s tech talent to drive solutions.

Ashish Agrawal (he/him) and Ritika Barsha (she/her)
Founder and co-founder of Eon Media
Ashish Agrawal (he/him) and
Ritika Bhartia (she/her)

Founder and co-founder of Eon Media

The two-year-old video streaming startup provides Waterloo co-op students with the flexibility and entrepreneurial environment to thrive. “We give our students the blank canvas for them to choose the technology they want to implement to come up with the right solutions,” says Ashish Agrawal (he/him), founder and CEO, Eon Media.

At Eon Media co-op students work in roles such as video content and server engineer, UI/UW developer, AI/ML video engineer as well as marketing and communications specialists. According to Agrawal, Mathematics and Engineering students have been a key to success for the organization with strong technical skills and diverse ideas.

 

“Waterloo students have a strong understanding of programming languages like Python and dedicated to solving problems. They are accountable, work as a collaborative team and even if they have not worked with the exact technology they learn easily and adapt quickly. They think outside the box, do their research and provide an incredibly unique perspective.”

- Ashish Agrawal (he/him), founder of Eon Media

With this rewarding experience, Eon Media offers an open invitation to many Waterloo co-op students to return full time upon graduation. “They are truly amazing and a blessing to get dedicated, passionate and diversified students,” Agrawal adds.


Co-op students excel at major projects

While still in the early stages of their development, Eon Media has worked on numerous high-profile projects for media broadcasting and sports companies. Students have helped play a role in developing and launching new initiatives.

“One of the key projects Waterloo students worked on is the brand recognition solution where we are able to extract the brand return on investment (ROI) for sponsors, advertisers and broadcasters,” he says. “This is like Google Analytics for the sponsors in a live broadcast. This collaboration with the students was used in the Tokyo and Beijing Olympics.”

Currently students are working on enhancing Eon’s existing product to further improve the accuracy with AI algorithms. This, Agrawal says, gives students the opportunity to learn about new and upcoming technologies.

The use of advanced AI and machine learning in broadcasting is a growing field that uses software to analyze and provide statistics. “ESports is very much becoming at the forefront and this tech will play a significant role. Sponsors require this data such as defined engagements must be precise and accurate. The manual way of doing this work is not sustainable with the sheer volume of video content produced,” Agrawal adds. This demand will mean an increase in the need for bright emerging talent like co-op students.


Looking to the future

Eon Media sees co-op students as a way forward in developing talent and diversifying their organization. The organization is looking forward to continuing their relationship with the University of Waterloo’s co-op program. He encourages other startups to work with this emerging talent.

“We need to be able to provide a platform to these amazing people so that they can put their passion to use. Students need this experience to showcase when looking for jobs. A lot of times they get turned down because they do not have experience in this field and that should not be the case” he says. “Companies need to start looking at their dedication and passion which is what we need to be honing not just their technical and paper-based qualification.”

For Agrawal, having students onboard has given him and his team the time to focus on the daily operations of the company, while staying future ready with new tech advances.