DiscoverMe Forum: Tech, Finance and Media Leaders Transforming Businesses
Los Angeles, January 29-31, 2014. The greatest challenge in launching a successful venture today is getting found to prove market validation, getting funded to scale, and getting followed by loyal customers to grow a sustainable business long term. With the purpose of facilitation relations and networking amongst a selective group of peers and senior entrepreneurs, angel investor Kai Tao created DiscoverMe, a gathering of todayís leaders in technology, finance, and media. The invite-only forum primarily consisted of fireside chats and breakout sessions, encouraging discussions, engaging attendees in conversation on how to remain competitive and relevant in an ever changing business landscape.
The small group format encourages interactivity and relationship building among peers, where each participant contributes value added knowledge, reflect their passions, experiences, and accomplishments. DiscoverMe is at the intersection of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and new media; bringing together innovators to learn how to adapt to a changing landscape. additionally the Opneing Night Gala counted with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a guest of honor.
The New Media landscape is changing faster than ever. A panel explored the unique paths of 4 media-gurus who have been successful in content creation and content monetization in the changing new media landscape. They discussed the opportunities they saw, their strategies, and how they think media will continue to evolve moving forward. Andy Stack, Partner Program Manager at YouTube, talked about the platform world-wide expansion through partnerships with content creators as they open studios in cities around the world. Content creator Olga Kay, started in traditional media, but she also started on YouTube because there wasnít steady work on traditional content creation. "Now I have the ability to do my own thing," she said. However "YouTube is so oversaturated that, unless you know the right people to partner, you are not likely to be discovered as an artist," Olga added.
The traditional content monetizing system is broken and new digital platforms are working on fixing it through different crowdsouncing strategies. Several sessions offered insights on how to get the most out of the content you are producing and how technology platforms are changing the game. When Instagram was acquired by Facebook for over $1 billion, they had 13 full-time employees. This is possible because many companies like Instagram leverage crowdsourcing and outsourcing solutions to stay lean and innovative and yet scale exponentially by maximizing the capabilities of multiple tools, utilizing partnerships and the power of influencers.
Todayís musicians are reaching new highs on the charts that matter with a DIY approach. Artists like Pentatonix are becoming household names without major label deals to support them. The panel in DIY Music: Modern Marketing, Distribution, and Financing gave an overview of how musicians are using new tools to promote and commercialize their music all by themselves. Artist Tyler Ward was doing music for a long time without success; then in 2010 he posted a video on YouTube and got 10,000 subscribers in a day. His first check shocked his dad, and now heís even bought a house. Adina Friedman, Artist Manager at Atom Factory said that they have a social media team for their artists. "This is a very different world for us. Online artist have great work ethics and no ego so we love working with them," she continued, "We can help artists to get to the next level with international distribution in 90 countries."
Angellist Founder & CEO Naval Ravikant, started connecting curated companies with a list of 1000 investors for about a year. Now they have 26,000 accredited investors. Last year AngelList started allowing online investment only for accredited and sophisticate investors, and also last September they started a Syndicate program, bringing several investors in a poll, which is very liquid and dynamic for seed-stage venture capital.
RocketHub founder Brian Meece talked about his crowdfunding platform. They are the third largest platform and very big in education. "We teach people how to do a successful campaign and then we have partnerships and we can help entrepreneurs at many different levels," Brian commented. Other topics in the Summit were social entrepreneurship and the new so-call Generation of Skeptics: the Millennials. This generation is acutely aware of marketing tactics and ulterior motives, so they donít trust brands to do the talking anymore - or so they say. And theyíve grown up in the land and era of brilliant branding, so this group is almost impossible to impress. A chat lead by Omelet Chairman & CEO Don Kurz, explored the relationship between Millennials and marketing and the hard, honest truths that brands must accept to make sure the conversation isnít over before it even begins.
Interest in Digital currencies is exploding along with volume, merchant acceptance, and price. Many economic and political considerations are involved and BitCoin can have the greatest impact on the developing world since the water filter. "Every network has been penetrative by cyber criminals as they have gotten very good," said Airpatrol Corporation Executive Chairman Bradley Rotter. He believes BiCoin is unstoppable and will have a huge impact socializing the world and giving increasing power to non-profits. "I believe there will only be two currencies: yours and BitCoin!" he stated.
DiscoverMe featured discussions on the impact crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and new media play in transforming the current business landscape, bringing together over 500 inspirational creators, founders, and investors to participate in boundary-breaking conversation while forming valuable new relationships. The three-day gathering went behind-the-scenes of the unique experiences that push the limits of innovation and success for companies like CrowdTilt, Rally.org, Crowdflower, Rockethub, Karmaloop, Stageit, Basis and Ouya. Participants offered real-world experience and shared their best practices for value creation through innovation.
The Summit had an extensive roster of special guests; Entrepreneurs, Media Content Creators, Investors, and Studio Executives, including: Julie Uhrman (Ouya, Founder & CEO), James Beshara (CrowdTilt, Co-Founder & CEO), Chris Van Pelt (Crowdflower, Co-Founder & CTO), Tom Serres (Rally.org, Founder & CEO), Tim Chang (Mayfield Funds, Partner), Michelle Phan (Entrepreneur & YouTube Star), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and many more. DiscoverMe is a gathering of peers; today's most influential leaders in technology, finance, and media. It brings together over 500 inspirational creators, founders, and investors to participate in boundary-breaking conversation and form valuable new relationships. For more information please visit www.discoverme.org.