Want to get your act onto "American Idol"?
The young people behind LoadnVote.com can't promise you a spot on the hit television show, but they can get you on the way -- and they are backed by some heavy hitters in Long Island's business community.
LoadnVote allows all types of performers -- singers, musicians, comedians -- to post their work online for free and get some attention from the public, which gets to vote on who they like. Winners get to perform before a live audience.
There's a contest on now, in fact, to see who gets to sing the national anthem at the Fair Media Council's annual Folio Awards event on April 20 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. The contest ends Sunday at midnight.
"The typical person doesn't have the resources" to train for an appearance on "American Idol," said Jonathan Doman, 22, one of three who started LoadnVote, which has been up for about a month. "This is a very simple way" for an aspiring performer to get some notice. "You perform [on LoadnVote] for a short period of time, maybe a few minutes. That could be your 15 minutes of fame" or lead to something more.
Doman, Maxx Yellin, 21, and Matthew Waxman, 23, all of Dix Hills and lifelong friends, are not Internet geeks. Doman was a history major at the University of Maryland in College Park; Yellin is studying finance and sports management at the University of Florida in Gainesville; and Waxman majored in accounting at the University at Buffalo. But they came up with an idea after watching "American Idol" and brought their concept to Mark Fasciano, a leading venture capitalist on Long Island as managing director of Jericho-based Canrock Ventures.
"They weren't looking for money," Fasciano said. They just wanted to start and grow the business. Canrock supplied them with the use of its office and technical help but little cash. Doman and Waxman have worked at Canrock without pay since last summer.
Fasciano said Canrock has never before helped grow a company inside its offices. He said the venture has "the potential" to make money from sponsorships.
"We are looking at this as a long-term prospect of developing these young people," Fasciano said.