We're interested in learning about all innovative ideas within the advertising and marketing technology ecosystem, but we are particularly interested in ideas that hit on one of more of our key themes:
Harness the massive disruptions created by increasing data in the advertising and marketing ecosystem. While "big data" gets a tremendous amount of attention, the fact is that marketers have always attempted to leverage the newest and largest sources of data available to them to target and optimize their advertising and marketing strategies. But with every attempted solution comes a new problem, a new innovation, a new source of data, a new audience to target. Whether it's web, audience, social, geo, or intent data, data has always been and will always be a key in creating and optimizing advertising and marketing strategies.
Leverage digital technologies to "pull" marketing rather than "push" marketing. Push marketing has always been the foundation of the marketing and advertising industry, but marketers have an increasing opportunity to pull marketing by leveraging public, individualized communication, creation and curation platforms to "help demand find supply."
Are innovating in mobile advertising and mobile marketing. The lessons from the "big web" are continuing to play out in the "small web", but the learnings don't necessarily apply in the same way. The way we use the big web is different from how we use the small web: shouldn't the advertising and marketing be different too?
Are B2B-focused and sell to brands and agencies. We know what agencies want. We know what brands want. And we know how they work with innovative technologies and companies. We bring that knowledge to help us select the ideas and technologies capable on having an impact in the industry.
Why focus on advertising and marketing technology? We believe that by investing in the early stage digital ecosystem, it delivers on our pillars of transformational business growth at kbs+ and will positively affect our agency, our clients, and entrepreneurs.
kbs+ Ventures works with each of our portfolio companies to help them work with agencies, brands, and the larger advertising and marketing ecosystem. In the process, kbs+ Ventures shares key learnings and knowledge about early-stage technology innovation with kbs+, our clients, and our employees. This provides inspiration and opportunity to our team at large and allows us and our clients to understand these new and innovative spaces.
While the world does not need another corporate investment vehicle, it does need a corporate investment vehicle that is entrepreneurial and has a background in business transformation. Being that kbs+ has been in business for over 20 years helping worldwide brands position and market themselves, we bring credibility to early stage organizations on business and marketing strategy. Access to the resources of kbs+ and sister agencies under the MDC Partners umbrella is part of our investment and are key components to how we deliver value beyond a simple check.
If this sounds interesting to you, we’d love to chat. Contact us.
Josh Engroff has been a media and technology entrepreneur for the past 15 years. During that period, Josh led the creation of advertising technology products – ad servers, programmatic demand side platforms, data management platforms – as well as media properties visited by half a billion people worldwide, for brands such as Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, Jango, Discovery Networks, and Sony. Josh began his career as cofounder of the consumer software firm Dash.com (voted Best Shopping Tool of 1999 by Time), which raised over $40 million in institutional financing from Omnicom and others. Most recently, Josh served as the GM of Mobile for the ad tech firm Dstillery, following the successful sale of Josh’s previous company, EveryScreen Media, to Dstillery in June 2013. Josh is an angel investor in several NYC companies, including NeueHouse and EveryScreen Media, among others.
Taylor Davidson has ten years of experience in working with early-stage and late-stage companies as a manager, consultant, advisor, and mentor. He is an advisor to a range of early-stage ventures and a mentor with Launch Pad Ignition and The Brandery. Over 10,000 entrepreneurs have downloaded one of his template financial models for startups, and thousands have taken one of his classes about financial modeling for entrepreneurs through Venture for America, General Assembly, and Skillshare. At kbs+ Ventures, he focuses on sourcing investments, working with our portfolio companies, managing the internal kbs+ Ventures Fellows education program, and building out the collaboration structure to maximize investment and knowledge returns between kbs+ Ventures, our portfolio companies, kbs+, our clients, and our employees.
Joanna Randell joined kbs+ in 2011 and holds joint titles of Associate Director of Content and Social Strategy and Analyst at kbs+Ventures. She primarily focuses on helping financial services clients think and act like publishers across social and digital channels. She joined joined kbs+Ventures as an analyst after participating in its fellows program and works with companies to better partner with brands and agencies. She also helps the team assess potential investments, facilitate industry connections and build the kbs+Ventures profile internally and externally. Prior to joining kbs+ Joanna was a financial journalist covering capital markets and asset management.
Jonathan has 5+ years of digital media experience, specializing in SEM and biddable media. As both kbs+ Ventures Analyst and Digital Engineering Director at The Media Kitchen, he facilitates the adoption of emerging ad tech while helping the Ventures group evaluate new opportunities. At The Media Kitchen, he works closely with our clients on fractional attribution, cross-device targeting, and viewability among other experimental initiatives.