Carter and Havas launch Smashd Group, an extension of his online news vertical and business accelerator, at Cannes Lions. Carter’s team of 20 Smashd employees at Atom Factory will assist Havas’ global network of corporate clients on brand consultancy, technology strategy and other innovations. Carter, on the difference between large brands and artists social media presences.
We don’t touch our artists’ Twitter or Instagram accounts. [But] when you have multiple people running a digital department, it’s very difficult for that voice to translate throughout the organization into the community…If you’re Coca-Cola, General Mills, one of these big companies, they’re a big inspiration to most of these startups. So when you can marry that thirst for innovation within the biggest companies and the thirst for business development from these young entrepreneurs, we think it’s a perfect match, The idea of being able to do [Smashd] Labs on the tech side, and brand innovation, we can bring these two worlds together.
Carter also talks about the next area he sees that is set for disruption:
Banks are dead. I met with the founder two weeks ago who’s building a platform for music artists, from STEM, and basically they were gonna handle collections for music artists to collect royalties from YouTube and all these other platforms. After the founder showed me an artist’s PayPal account, which contained $250,000, she said, ‘None of the creators are gonna have bank accounts. For these kids, everything is happening on mobile.’ This group aren’t buying cars, so they’re not paying loans. They’re renting and not buying houses, they’re waiting to get married til their mid-to-late 30s. These kids aren’t going to college soon because they don’t want the student debt. So I think banks are ripe for disruption.
Stiklorius leaves Atom Factory to start Friends At Work, her own own management company, where she will work with Lindsey Stirling and John Legend. Carter:
The only thing that I love as much as artists are entrepreneurs, and Ty has the makings of a great one. Although I’m sad to see her leave, I’m grateful for our time together and extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last three years. She and John are going to build a great company that will help other artists and have an impact on the community. They’ll always be a part of our family here at Atom Factory.
Carter announces SMASHD Labs, an LA-based accelerator. SMASHD Labs will take between five and seven young tech companies whose focus is entertainment and culture and house them for 10 weeks in Atom Factory’s office, providing them with $50,000 in funding for 3% of the company, as well as providing a weekly “curriculum” in order to focus and define their idea.
Carter launches Smashd, (http://smashd.co/) an online news site dedicated to uncovering the personalities and trends in “tech, culture and hustle”. Smashd is the result of a six-month plan hatched between Carter and Kozlowski, a former writer-editor at Forbes who focused on covering entrepreneurs and the L.A. startup scene. Carter:
It came from internal conversations we’d been having around the office about where we get our news and information from in the morning. You’d go through blog after blog, and for us — living between the tech, music and pop-culture worlds — it just didn’t feel like there was one place where we could call home or a hub, especially as told through a very original lens.
The initial content is a mix of stories and videos that meet what Carter calls a mix of “Forbes meets Fader”
It’s very rare when you can get a real glimpse inside the life of an entrepreneur. So for us, most of the stories we’re gonna be covering, like through a series called ‘In Residence,’ will give a glimpse inside their environment.
Under the umbrella of Atom Factory, Carter founds A\IDEA, a product development and branding agency, and AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy that holds interests in many technology companies at various stages of growth.
Backplane is founded by Carter, Michelson, Lonsdale and Lady Gaga. The seven-person project aims to provide a way to organize and power online communities based on certain interests, such as sports teams, musicians, and also bring in feeds from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Gaga has a reported 20% stake in the business. $1 million has been raised in angel funding from investors including Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures.
Carter founds Atom Factory, a “multi-dimensional entertainment and artist management company” based in Los Angeles, CA, where he serves as chairman and chief executive officer. He says the company can be much more than a simple artist-management firm.
It was more about building a platform on top of music—because music, we realized, sells everything but music.
Carter and Erving found talent management company Erving Wonder by merging Boy Wonder Management and J. Erving Group. As well as Eve, they manage other major hip-hop and R&B stars, Beanie Siegel, Jadakiss, Sleepy Brown, Angie Stone, Floetry, and Nelly.