By Deb Silverthorn
It’s as clear as glass — Glass-Media, that is — how popular and successful Daniel Black and his business are.
“I saw a gap in omni-channel shopping, and our goal is to help our clients engage with the window shoppers — to bring them in,” Glass-Media Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Daniel Black said. “Our clients can change screens in a blink for one or at all stores at the same second. We provide the ability to hit the brand relevant to any customer.”
Black’s vision came as he was working in online marketing in San Diego, when he’d notice paper window signs that were faded, cracked and outdated. He realized there was no technical solution.
“Storefront products for the most part haven’t changed in years, but everything around them has, many times,” said Black, a native of Toronto, to where his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, had fled. “Paper and vinyl posters, stickers and neon lights can be outdated by the time they’re put up.”
Glass-Media’s product allows any storefront, street-facing glass or indoor surface to become an interactive arena with video, copy and other artistic displays available for change in the blink of an eye — literally.
Moving to Dallas, where he had friends and knew the start-up world was booming, he was first at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center and then its partner space at the Addison Treehouse. His offices are now at the Centrum. Black’s team includes Co-founders Nic Logan and Ilan Cane, Josh Grinnan, Becca Hollington, and Nate Schnurman. The group has customers around the country: Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Quicktrip. Local activations are in the windows of AT&T, Fossil Group, Pier 1 Imports and more.
“Daniel’s product is genius and one of the coolest marketing tools I’ve seen. It’s certainly helping us stand out in a sea of restaurants,” said Marc Mattox, co-founder of Dallas’ Poke Bop restaurants. “We have running video of our product, of kite surfing, of reviews. Even at the basic level, I’m so impressed with their absolutely on-point body of work.”
Glass-Media targets mall-based retailers, pop-up retail formats, convenience stores, fast-casual restaraunts and hospitality services. It allows retailers to boost foot traffic, enhance customer experience and engagement, build brand awareness and drive on and offline conversion.
“We can take our clients from idea to execution in one to two months — it can happen in a flash,” said Black, who graduated from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. “Dallas’ community works together and one company’s success is the success of all. It’s a magical place to be and we’re fortunate to be here.”
Black’s company, working with more than 50 brands and more in the pipeline, has, through angel investors, raised more than $2.5 million in investment capital, with almost half of that coming from the Metroplex. Winner of the 2018 Startup Pitch Competition at ShopTalk, the largest retail and e-commerce innovation conference, Glass-Media is continuously on the rise.
“We’re ambitious, and Daniel’s group has provided us with fantastic service. We post showings, associate introductions, community events — lots to reach the customers in our very neighbor-centric area,” said Sylvia Jennings. She and her husband, Wayne, are with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rocky Mountain, Realtors in Colorado Springs. “We can always reach them and Daniel always has a hand in (the business). He’s a man of high integrity and, while we’re probably a small account, we always feel important.”
Black’s enthusiasm for business matches his zest for Jewish connection. Both he and his fiancée, Shelley Widom, are avid supporters of AIPAC, having just attended the 2018 Policy Conference in Washington.
“I’m five years out of college, and I didn’t think there was much I could do as a student, but I was wrong,” said Black. “We saw 3,500-plus students who are ‘boots on the ground’ and they need support. Now I know where I can be and what I can do and it’s helping grow the grass roots.”
In addition to AIPAC Lonestar Region events, Black and Widom can be found at Intown Chabad and YJP/Young Jewish Professionals programs. The two are also fans of Congregation Shearith Israel’s Torah on Tap, the Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-off and Moishe House events.
“The synergy of young Jews here is incredible,” Black said. “We enjoy the breadth of programming and we’ve made a lot of friends. This town is booming with causes and people to be involved with. In college, my friends and I were looking for our identity; now we’re looking for what our ‘family lives’ will be, and Judaism is for me a priority.”
Whether it’s at a group Shabbat dinner or event in the city, the couple are just two of the many making Judaism work for their generation.
“Daniel cares passionately about the Jewish people and he wants to give back,” said Rabbi Mayer Hurwitz, DATA’s assistant dean and co-founding educational director of YJP. “He is creative and innovative both professionally and in everything he does and we’re thrilled for everything that he and Shelley share with us.”
Whether Black’s “light” is emanating from himself or his Glass-Media product line, seemingly his glass is always full.
For more information on Glass-Media, visit glass-media.com.