Supporting modern creators with professional seed capital to grow their communities and fulfill their potential.
The most valuable brands of the future are going to be people rather than companies. However, in order to get to a future a few key things need to change about how creator brands are built, financed and valued. more on our thesis
- 1 Our Creator Thesis
- 2 The Fund
- 3 Key Features
- 4 How It Works
- 5 How To Apply as a Creator
- 6 Become a Partner
1) The most valuable brands of the future will be people, not companies. There are several reasons that power is shifting from institutions to people, and value will follow (more)
2) Creators today are limited because the have to grow off of ‘cash flow’ and don’t have access to institutional capital to invest in their personal brands.
3) Providing creators with ‘seed capital’ in return for small non-voting minority share of future creative earnings is a win-win for creators and for investors.
4) If you believe in a future of investing in people, the best way to start is with a high quality consortium of investors backing creators.
The Slow Ventures Creator Fund is designed specifically to invest capital in individuals to help them build their brands & create more long-term value. We can invest anywhere from $100K to $5M in each person in return for anywhere from 1-5% of the creator’s future earnings over their careers. We also can lead syndicates and bring on other co-investors (just as we do with traditional companies).
At Slow Ventures we see directly investing in creators as a natural extension of our seed investments over the last 10+ years. Over the last decade we have invested more than $500M in over 300 seed stage companies (including Robinhood, Postmates, Ro, Slack, Venmo, Hipcamp, Allbrids, and many more. We always invest in the earliest days, when new companies are no more than the people, and the idea.
Like our seed investments we look to lead with partners, bringing together great angles to help make companies (and now creators) successful. When we back creators our goal is to help them put together the best possible syndicate of investors that can help them achieve their potential. That means working with a community of supportive investors interested in seeding the next generation of talent.
Within Slow, the Creator Fund is managed by Sam Lessin and Megan Lightcap. Sam was VP of Product at Facebook from 2010-2014. He has founded two companies - drop.io (sold to Facebook), and Fin Analytics. He has been working in and around new ways to help individuals get access to financing beyond debt for a long time, making several investments in the ISA space (Stride, Vemo, Pando Pooling), and Hosting the Life Capital Conference) on alternative financing models for people, and even some ancient IP on the topic.
There are a few important things to understand about our beliefs, which inform how we invest in creators. We believe it is critical to:
1 - Create Holistic Long-Term Alignment when we invest in creators we are investing holistically in their long-term creative careers. That means that we look to seed them with capital in return for a small percentage (<10%) of their creative income & the IP they generate over 30 years. This long-term focus allows us to fully value their creative potential and therefore minimize the percentage of ‘equity’ we need to take to balance the investment we make
2 - Minimize Risk for Talent we never want to be in a position where our investment creates a hardship for creatives. That means not taking any return on the first $100K of annual income, and making sure that the equity a creator sells is never greater than 10%.
3 - Guarantee the Creator is 100% In Control Our investments are passive. We never have any control over what a creator does, or when / how they work. We have no ‘vote’. The creator always has a right-of-first refusal on transactions. If the creator decides to walk away from their creative career and stops generating creative income, that is their decision.
4 - Keep It Simple The last thing we want to do is create overhead or burden for creators. Our deals are simple, and we take on the burden of managing ongoing details around accounting, etc.
5 - Be Deeply Collaborative When we invest the idea is to include a syndicate of helpful co-investors for the creator from our community of partners (if the creator wants).
High level there are a few steps we go through to get to know a creator and make an investment:
> Initiate: We interact with a creator to understand their current community and income streams. We discuss how they could use capital to accelerate their careers and see if there is a fit. If there is, we generate a term-sheet outlining a proposed deal with a creator.
> Setup: We assist the creator in the technical setup to prepare for an investment. This means (1) incorporating a business to represent the creator’s career and (2) a simple agreement to assign income related to their creative career to the company.
> Fund: Slow funds the creator’s company (and - if wanted by the creator - coordinates investments from others that can be of assistance). The money can be used for anything that the creator wants.
> Support: After funding, Slow is aligned with the creator over the long-term. Just like with the companies we fund, that means assisting where we can help with introductions, advice, negotiation, etc.
To learn more feel free to reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com and we will find a time to connect. If you are interested in applying to the creator fund a great way to get started is to answer a few questions below (which helps us expedite things).
Our core thesis at Slow ventures is centered on being collaborative capital. That is why, unlike most funds, we generally don’t take board seats and look to build helpful syndicates for the companies we invest in from the earliest days vs. trying to just own as much as possible at all costs. This mentality extends to the creator fund. If you are a qualified investor and interested in helping to finance and support creators, we would love to have you join our community & collaborate. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more or join the group.