Entrepreneurs building businesses that target youth culture could find an angel in The Fund by First Access Entertainment.
The Fund is a platform created to advise and collaborate with young entrepreneurs in the areas of fashion, music, the Internet of Things, shared economy and “new marketing.” The platform is structured as an incubation base, with The Fund providing financial, operational and strategic support to its portfolio companies. The Fund is based in Los Angeles.
The cofounders of The Fund are music industry executive Sarah Stennett, who is also the chief executive officer of First Access Entertainment, and entrepreneur Simon Tikhman. As managing partner of The Fund, he will drive the search for young, talented entrepreneurs. Some of the investments he has made with his brother Alex Tikhman include Robinhood, Glympse, Espresa, Philz Coffee, Exadel, Monclarity and e-Sports platform Vision Venture Partners.
Stennett said, “It is very important for us to embrace youth culture and those who think differently — the rebellious and the disruptive.” She added that The Fund will also give the entrepreneurs both experience and access to “some of the most successful and experience entrepreneurs in the field of technology and entertainment, as well as strategic integrations with First Access Entertainment’s existing businesses.”
Tikhman said in a telephone interview, “The Fund is about incubating and seeding these entrepreneurs, and opening doors for them. There are a lot of young kids in companies doing a multitude of different things. We wouldn’t go invest in a young person or company that isn’t a brand that we couldn’t help grow.”
He said the platform is currently self-funded. “There’s no outside money, and I don’t think we need to do that yet. First Access Entertainment is a very profitable company,” he noted, adding that the focus of the incubator platform is growing start-ups to the point where they can go pitch for institutional funding.
Tikhman will work closely with the platform’s eclectic five-member board of advisers. They include Rachel Antonoff, a fashion designer; Baron Davis, a two-time NBA All-Star; Amanda Micallef, who founded media firm Arsenic; Val Blavatnik, a senior vice president of content and artists at First Access, and Jihan Bowes-Little, founder of venture capital firm Bracket Capital.
Although he has deep roots in mid- to late-stage growth stage of private firms, Bowes-Little said he won’t be running the investment process for The Fund. Rather, his role as a board member is as an adviser, whether providing an opinion on possible investments or on advising The Fund’s portfolio companies on “fund-raising, fine-tuning their pitch decks and what metrics they should be targeting.”
Given that Bowes-Little manages a $500 million fund, he’s open to the possibility of Bracket Capital backing portfolio company further down the road after it has had some incubation time at The Fund. “We have large pools of capital. This is a way to source some great opportunities and give back to the community,” he said. Bracket Capital’s investments have included Reddit, Spacex, Airbnb and Happy Not Perfect, where he met fellow board member Alex Tikhman.