Ruchit Garg sees no reason why slide decks can’t be more interactive, allowing viewers to not only consume the graphical presentations but the accompanying videos in which the presentations were made. That’s why former Microsoftie created 9Slides, which today is publicly unveiling its presentation software for meshing slide decks with video.
The way Garg sees it, most online slide deck sharing services are “one-dimensional,” a problem that he is hoping to fix.
“By enabling users to view a speaker’s video alongside slides, presenters are able to more effectively connect with their audience,” he says.
Garg, who previously worked as a program manager on Xbox Live and Windows Phone, raised a little bit of cash for the startup last year. And 9Slides received a big endorsement in August when it inked a deal to provide its presentation software to the 45,000 companies in Microsoft’s BizSpark program for free.
In fact, 9Slides is built around a “freemium” model in which the first five talks are free. A professional version, which includes 10 talks and additional services such as analytics and no advertisements, costs $9.99 per month. In addition to working with PowerPoint, 9Slides also works in conjunction with applications like Prezi, Apple Keynote and Microsoft Excel.
9Slides isn’t the only Seattle area startup trying to make inroads in the presentation arena, with Adam Tratt’s Haiku Deck earlier this year unveiling an easy-to-use competitor to PowerPoint. The startup also faces competition from juggernauts such as SlideShare, which was acquired earlier this year by LinkedIn for $119 million.
You can get a sense of how 9Slides works from Dwellable CEO Brenda Spoonemore’s talk at GeekWire’s Startup Day in September.