Aaron Levant has a new project.
The founder of Agenda, who revealed to WWD he was retiring from the trade-show business earlier this year, is working on Ntwrk, which in a press release is described as “a new content, commerce and experience company that’s centered around a multifaceted strategy, cross-pollinating passionate fan bases and connecting with consumers through a mobile-first platform.”
The description is vague, but Levant, who will be the chief executive officer, said it’s meant to be hazy as to not offer too much information about the platform before it launches later this year, but it has the backing of a few credible players. The platform has closed its first financing round, which was led by Warner Bros. Digital Networks and MSA Enterprises, a fund managed by Main Street Advisors whose investors include Jimmy Iovine, Tom Werner, LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The investors reached out to Levant, who has been working on the project full-time since March, to join the team. While he helped write the business plan for the platform and is leading execution, it wasn’t his idea, but it builds on the expertise he’s gained over the past 15 years in retail and events. After Reed Exhibitions acquired Agenda for an undisclosed sum in 2013, Levant stayed on to help grow Agenda, oversee other shows and launch new ones, including ComplexCon.
Ntwrk will be a mobile-only platform that sits at the cross-section of e-commerce and content, an area Levant says many companies have tried to capitalize on but haven’t been able to do in a holistic, seamless way. The platform will focus on a large swath of customers. He couldn’t name a direct competitor, but said there will be a heavy focus on video commerce similar to QVC and HSN, but will be quite different.
“We are going to play in that space through my lens of curation and pop culture that targets Millennials and Generation Z,” said Levant.
Along with the mobile platform, Ntwrk will have a secondary wing dedicated to experiences including large-scale activations in the form of pop-up theme parks.
Shanon Kelley joins as chief revenue officer. She’s worked with Levant before on projects and spent nine years at Vice media where she was vice president of experiential and also launched Broadly, Vice’s female-centric channel. Gaston D-Letelier will serve as vice president of licensing, and Jamie Iovine will be vice president of talent relations. D-Letelier was previously on the board of CEI, a convention logistics company that handled Los Angeles Comic Con and RuPaul’s Drag Con.