In an interview with Re/code, Carter talks about SMASHDLabs.
On the artist side, we made a significant investment in very young artists from the very beginning of their careers and helped them become global superstars. So, on the entrepreneurs’ side, the idea of the labs was to be able to create this ecosystem to help them from the very beginning, to see them through from development and hopefully until they become large companies.
He also says that the accelerator companies had access to entrepreneurial advice from Marc Cuban, who gave the welcoming address, Sophia Amoruso of retail site Nasty Gal, Jason Calacanis, Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Upfront Ventures’ Mark Suster and MediaREDEF Chief Executive Jason Hirschhorn.
We had a wide array of incredible entrepreneurs and investors that came in to speak to the group. The head of growth for Snapchat, he probably spent five days with our companies. That’s significant.
Carter talks about why he started SMASHD Labs to Billboard.
There’s definitely a huge amount of accelerators out there, but there was a void for one that focused on brand, and that’s a space we have a lot of experience at and that makes this unique. Selfishly, it works for the Atom Factory — by being able to put 25 of the smartest entrepreneurs from around the world in your office. We get a lot of value out of that as well…[I want] A diverse team — the crux of my personal mission is to open up entrepreneurship to everybody, so Silicon Valley doesn’t have a patent on innovation. We want to open up the process to people outside of that network — the team would be diverse, hard-working entrepreneurs with technical expertise that are looking to gain traction on their product.
On the importance of data:
There’s always going to be a place for artists — but when you look at what humans have actually done to devalue music, from a pure monetary valuation standpoint, this is the part where our industry needs a lot of help. SoundCloud is worth its $1.5 billion valuation, but there’s no way in the world that SoundCloud should be worth more than The Beatles’ catalog. From a value proposition, we have a huge opportunity to re-value our business… I think the music is undervalued. I think up to this point we’ve done a poor job of valuing our content.