With our official media launch today, I’m ecstatic to finally share what’s been going on behind the scenes…
Late last year I was thrilled to join an amazing group of founding partners to form a new company creation studio called BrandProject.
We’re taking a design-led approach to building consumer products – actively building, buying and investing in disruptive startups. It’s a model not too dissimilar to BetaWorks or Idealab – two companies I came to admire while I was building Sprouter and BetaKit.
(Sidenote: Idealab founder Bill Gross was one of the pioneers of this type of model – opening his lab in Los Angeles all the way back in 1996! Idealab has created and operated more than 125 companies over the years, with over 40 IPOs and acquisitions. Impressive success that we certainly hope to emulate.)
Our founding team has incredible experience building consumer products and technologies and is really excited to work together.
Andrew Black built Virgin Mobile with Richard Branson, was the President of LEGO and while GM at Nike, introduced their equipment business. He’s a renowned guru in bringing new consumer products to market. I met Andrew when I was toying with the idea of building a new company (after selling Sprouter) and was seeking his advice on supply-chain optimization / channel development. When he shared his vision for BrandProject, and the incredible team he was looking to build, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It seemed like an amazing chance to leverage everything I’ve done up until that point as well as partner with some of the worlds top creative talent.
And creative talent we have in spades.
Stanley Hainsworth was the Chief Creative Officer at both Starbucks and LEGO, as well as Creative Director at Nike. He’s a creative genius who has a ridiculous track record in building compelling brands. (Seriously. He invented the Gatorade bottle and is responsible for the amazingly cool in-store concepts you’ve undoubtedly ogled at both the LEGO store and Niketown. Robert Scoble did a great interview with him recently – watch the video here)
Andrew Bridge has held senior marketing roles at Virgin, Cadbury-Schweppes and Diageo. He is the inventive personality behind that sassy-virgin mobile operator and helped introduce Smirnoff Ice to the world.
Jay Bhatti is a renowned entrepreneur and technologist who built the people search engine Spock.com which was the backend for many prolific web 2.0 platforms like Bebo, Friendster and Hi5. He’s an active advisor and angel investor.
With offices in Toronto and New York City, we’re actively looking to back passionate entrepreneurs who are creating differentiated products for large markets.
We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes on a variety of different initiatives – including investing and helping build innovative new brands like Awake Caffeinated Chocolate (which I am completely addicted to), BRIKA, Rumble Supershake, SurfEasy, The Coveteur and Hello Products.
We have raised over $12 Million and are actively working on some exciting new concepts behind the scenes (stay tuned for more announcements on that front).
As Co-Founder / Managing Partner, I’ll be largely focused on external investments. I’m looking forward to getting back out into the startup community and partnering with some of the incredibly talented founders I’ve been privileged to meet over the past several years.
Please drop me a note and let me know what you’re up to – I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org