For the entrepreneur, creative capital can be the catalyst to compel investors to sign on earlier in the start-up process.
In 2006, after designing products and brands for other companies for 12 years under ASTRO Studios (my design firm), I teamed up with some outstanding business partners and spun-off a separate, product producing, direct-to-consumer brand of premium video gaming products called ASTRO Gaming.
The creative capital for this new venture was a collection of perspectives and knowledge about gamers and the video gaming industry that aided us in building an authentic brand led by a range of unique, consumer enticing products, prototypes and collateral; all of which were wrapped in a creative vision and compelling business plan. These creative assets brought our start-up venture to life and made it easier to evaluate and compel investors, partners and vendors to believe in our start-up and want to work with us earlier in the process.
This same creative capital was also useful in gaining insights from our consumers, especially for further improvement of current and future products. Additionally, these assets helped introduce our business and products to retailers and the press for early sales and promotion feedback.
For my spin off company ASTRO Gaming, we were targeting a new emerging segment in consumer electronics, that of premium, hi-performance video gaming accessories targeted at pro video gamers and hardcore enthusiasts. So in order to pioneer this new space and higher price-points, the creative capital we employed (models, renderings, brand story, prototypes, consumer profiles, etc.,) helped us reset the consumer’s ultimate expectations and maximize our development process.
Finally, this creative capital helped us to secure a strategic launch partner for the products and brand, well before production of the final goods. When our partner saw the early product renderings, the brand collaterals, even tried out preliminary prototype and models, they immediately signed up with us, making it easier for us to attract capital and launch the business.
These types of experiences have convinced me that developing and combining creative capital with traditional venture capital accelerates the start-up process, creates valuable critical mass around new ventures and that I love being a Creative Capitalist.
BRETT LOVELADY is a designer, communicator and angst ridden
creative capitalist. He founded ASTRO Studios in 1994. Brett also produces premium video gaming products under the brand name of ASTRO Gaming (acquired by Skullcandy). Astro Gaming ranked No. 13 on the Inc. 5000 in 2011. @AstroStudios