Benjamin Nowak, founder and CEO of Cinamaker, has lived in Atlanta since 1991.
His company, launched in 2017, was built on the success of a technology career spanning three decades. Formerly from New Orleans, Nowak decided to focus his talents on network systems, marketing automation, digital imaging and new media.
“Since 1992, I’ve had the fortune to work with and provide new media and internet solutions for some very innovative startups and powerful brands, such as IBM, Oracle, NCR, Honeywell, Manpower, McKesson and hundreds of others,” Nowak said.
His background in technology helped him to see what was missing in the industry, and Cinamaker ended up catching the eye of videoconferencing giant Zoom.
“Zoom saw our technology at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference and encouraged us to build an integration into their platform due to the simplicity of our solution for their users to enhance the professionalism of their customers’ Zoom meetings,” Nowak said. “Getting help from Zoom, working with the developer relationship team, our software now works hand in hand with the Zoom platform.”
The person who discovered Cinamaker at Zoom is now the CTO. “He understood the value we were giving to people,” Nowak said, offering clients the ability to “switch cameras and add graphics, media, lower thirds and videos, just like you’d see on CNN. Zoom is a platform that helps us facilitate really advanced, remote video communication … we look at it as a building block on which we can layer not only media and creativity, but also interactivity and future applications that have yet to be built that represent the future of interactive communication.”
Since Cinamaker is supported by a team of engineers in Ukraine, the Russian invasion has thrown a wrench into their operation. “Our engineering team is all Ukrainian. From our chief technology officer on down,” Nowak says. “Our office in Kharkiv has had to shut down and during the past month everyone has been forced to work from home. On top of that, over 80 percent of our team has been forced to leave their hometown of Kharkiv, to find safer places in Ukraine.”
Nowak relies on the engineering team’s integrity, professionalism and work ethic, which has not flagged even during a war.
“Nothing has changed, as our Ukrainian management and engineering team has been extremely resilient in the face of missiles and shelling in many of their residential neighborhoods,” Nowak said. “Many have stayed out of the war by focusing on their work. Our primary focus over the past few weeks has been for everyone to find a safe place and new housing for their families. Most have resettled out of Kharkiv and have resumed work. To date, we’re extremely thankful that everyone on our team and their families have remained safe.”
Nowak lives in Atlanta with his wife, Beth (Rubenstein), and daughter, Maggie. His family firmly believes in giving back to the community and participating in various charitable organizations. For more information, visit www.cinamaker.com.