"I've been waiting my whole career to sell something like this," says Mitchell Davis of BiblioBoard, a platform that helps libraries and institutions create and sell elegant multimedia anthologies and "exhibits" from their catalogs and collections.

Davis is a veteran of Amazon: He sold his first company, Book Surge, an integrated publishing and print-on-demand platform, to the Seattle etailer in 2005 and then went to work for them. In 2007, says Davis, the original founders of Book Surge got back together in their hometown of Chareston, S.C., to start BiblioLabs with the focus of reducing the costs of making historical books available via POD.

"We didn't do much with digital in the early days," says Davis, "because most of the devices were E Ink and we just didn't think they would do justice to historical artifacts. The iPad changed all of that."

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