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 or 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.
Darren Herman is a career entrepreneur who has built VC-backed startups in the lofts of Manhattan and corporate startups within the walls of advertising agencies. He has raised over $50MM+ in venture capital for his own ventures since 1998 and has advised/participated in ventures that have collectively raised over $100MM. Herman is an active mentor of the early stage technology scene and participates in programs dedicated to furthering entrepreneurship: TechStars NY, First Growth Venture Network, and the Founder Institute.
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 hundreds 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, and building out the collaboration structure to maximize investment and knowledge returns between kbs+ Ventures, our portfolio companies, kbs+, our clients, and our employees.