Are VCs the New A&Rs?

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Are VC’s the New A&R’s?

One of the more dynamic and exciting roles played in modern culture is that of the Venture Capitalist.

Finance is becoming “cool” and relevant in ways it hasn’t been before. Apps like Robinhood and Public, where anyone can invest in stocks broker-free, are all the rage. Meme stocks are moving the market; traders are becoming more educated and sophisticated as crypto and smart contracts develop more fully; and the power of platforms like Carta, which reduces friction in the paperwork needed to own a piece of a company, is helping propel an investment zeitgeist.

The similarities between VCs and A&Rs are glaring to me. VC’s get in early with entrepreneurs and provide the resources needed to realize a vision. They incubate the next generation of changemakers, betting their time and money on a few companies they hope will turn into “platinum-selling” unicorns.

A&Rs, meanwhile, are the ones finding and developing artists. They’re the scouts and they’re in the studio putting the pieces together. They have the most coveted jobs at a record label and the most connection with the creators.

Artist and brand careers are now treated like start-ups. Fans can invest directly in people they believe in, giving them a tiny taste of what it’s like to be an investor. Their contributions matter! While traditional VC’s have massive resources, shifting market dynamics and lessons from the past are showing us that fresh faces are needed on the field.

That’s why today’s launch of a new venture firm out of New York City, CityRock Capital, is so exciting. Their mission is to empower a diverse, inclusive group of companies and investors. I’m an advisor, an ally, and a big fan of the founding team. I commend them on their launch and encourage all of you to get familiar with this hot, new fund that has a great eye for talent.

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Also published on Medium.