The Index: 12 creator economy leaders to know
Instagram to TikTok, Web2 to Web3: meet the local innovators at the helm of all that the Vancouver tech community has to offer for creators.
We’ve entered into an era where “YouTuber” will start to appear on more and more career aptitude tests. But, what else does the future have in store for the creator economy? As you’ll read below, its currency is not simply digital. From plush toys to sneakers to skin care, there are myriad ways to start creating — and myriad local leaders at the space’s forefront. Here are 12 to know, listed alphabetically.
Ali Adab, co-founder, Fetti; chief content officer, SoleSavy
Adab is the co-founder of Fetti, a creator monetization company, and chief content officer at SoleSavy. The latter helps sneakerheads access sought-after kicks at retail prices or helps creators enter the sneaker game. Adab was formerly a vice president at media tech company BBTV and drove Web3 and NFT strategy across his roles.
Quotable: “Novelty and speculation propelled the initial hype around NFTs, but the potential of this ‘on-chain’ technology to bring value to both creators and their fans is still largely untapped. With the brightest minds at major brands from Disney to Starbucks signalling investments in NFT tech, I predict we [will] see a return to NFT hype — only this time, I expect NFTs will be more than just a speculative asset.”
Rakan Al-Shawaf, co-founder and CEO, Makeship
Al-Shawaf’s company is a crowdfunding platform for content creators, where fans fund limited-edition campaigns to build custom products: think plush toys of their favourite YouTuber or Twitch streamer.
Quotable: “Our thesis is that everyone is going to be a creator. What YouTube did to democratize video content creation, we want to do for physical product creation for content creators and IPs. We just launched squishies, a squishable plush toy, and we have a keychain now. But we want to go into figures, backpacks, other types of products creators might be interested in to expand their product lines. In the future, a creator of any kind can come to this platform and bring a physical product to life that’s uniquely theirs.”
Kaylee Astle, co-founder and CEO, Blanka
Astle is a self-proclaimed startup junkie. She’s getting that entrepreneurial fix with Blanka, which aims to help anyone start a makeup or skincare line in under five minutes. Its app allows users to choose products from Blanka’s dropshipping library, order samples, and even use a logo visualizer.
Quotable: “Since day one, it was our objective to create a brand and a business that gave everyday people the ability to create a side hustle business, or push their existing brand to the next level with an easy-to-use but technically-advanced system. Watching our merchants grow and build something special is the most rewarding part of this company — there is nothing like being a part of their journey to success.”