My hiatus is over. What follows are four "catch-up" posts in which I attempt to review thought leadership on four topics I'm tracking right now (Start-up Culture; Crowdfunding; Storytelling and Transmedia; and Video/Distribution).
I start with Start-up Culture, this amazing phenomenon that is a hallmark of our current, tech-driven era -- including investing, accelerators and incubators.
I've written about the potential for an incubator for the entertainment industry, and I'm advising a new Lab in Toronto that seeks to apply many of the start-up principals to early stage content developers. This is an idea whose time has come -- and two LA based efforts seem to bear out this prediction.
The Creative Artists Agency, one of the world's biggest talent agencies, has a long history of helping content-related start-ups emerge from its core business -- the best known example is Will Ferrell's Funny or Die comedy website, but there are many others. A CAA-spawned startup called Moonshark will soon begin rolling out celebrity-based apps for iOS and Android. This USA Today article reports on this and other "accelerator-like" activities by CAA's biz-dev guru Michael Yanover.
io/LA is a new hybrid incubator and co-work space in Los Angeles -- Hollywood, not Santa Monica! -- with a specific focus on "bridging entertainment and technology," according to Liz Gannes's reporting. Co-founder Aber Whitcomb is looking for companies into "digital distribution and efficient content creation." (see also this HuffPo coverage.)
Amidst the frenzy of start-up accelerators and incubators -- there seems to be a dozen new launches every week -- Canadian business consultant Lyn Blanchard analyzes whether and how they work in a very thoughtful post (HT to Knowlton Thomas who cited it here).
In a related vein, Fortune reports on some entrepreneurs who are opting out of the accelerator game, and why.
Jorge Barba, one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Tijuana, muses on various models for incubators and accelerators. Thoughtful post, and evidences how pervasive the model has become in so many countries.
Silicon Valley, of course, is the engine that drives the start-up culture, nothwithstanding successes elsewhere. Ken Auletta, who brilliantly covers the media business for the New Yorker, has delivered another deeply informative piece called "Get Rich U" -- an in-depth look at the central role of Stanford within the Silicon Valley culture. A must-read piece for anyone interested in start-up culture.
The contours of start-up investing continue to change. Here, Semil Shah articulates seven forces that are disrupting traditional venture capital investing: the cloud (specifically Amazon), Angel investors AngelList, Kickstarter, Y Combinator and accelerators, "new venture capital" and secondary markets.
Next up: CROWDFUNDING.