Talents United is an online community for creative people, whose purpose is to provide a space for artists to show their work to other artists and to the public, and to be a point of entry to the world of marketing, branding and social engagement. The platform is offered to artists of the following forms: architecture, performance arts, visual arts, design, literature and music.
KITE Invest: Please provide a brief history of how Talents United was initially formed and what was the catalyst behind the artist community?
Ramón Puchades: Talents United was founded by two entrepreneurs that saw two gaps in the art field: the need to share the creations of emerging artists and the need for there to be more connection, more engagement between them and potential clients. In fact, one of the founders is an artist, who was pushed by necessity to launch such a project.
KITE: To date over 3,000 artists from around the world are registered with Talents United and close to 2,000 have shared their work through the channels of Talents United. Focused on a particular set of art forms, does Talents United reach out to or accept other types of artists?
RP: We do not accept or reject any artistic production. Our aim is to be invisible, just like a social environment. They, the creators, are those who will judge if some particular creation could be considered art or not.
As I heard recently from a prestigious art researcher, being an artist is an attitude; it’s just someone’s wish that his or her work be judged from an artistic point of view. We are aligned with that idea, so in our platform there is room for anyone independent of quality or technique and, of course, we don’t classify them. We let them to tag their work as they want to, because hybridization and breaking barriers is nowadays the rule.
KITE: As an advocate and communicator for artists, how does Talents United communicate and market itself?
RP: We communicate using our artists’ work. The more we help them to show their work in media, social media, blogs, etc. the more we get in terms of communication and marketing return. Challenges are another way we market our brand. Every time we challenge our community we get more visits and new members. Artist are willing to show their work to the world and to participate in every challenge we could offer them so we can work together to grow the community and improve our visibility as a whole.
Finally, we try to do our best in terms of content marketing and bootstrapping techniques to communicate Talents United’s brand.
KITE: One of the main services of Talents United is assisting artists with selecting appropriate forms of Crowdsourcing. Within the artist community does Crowdsourcing differ from traditional types of Crowdfunding and fundraising? If so, what are some of the components that differentiate it from others and from startups?
RP: The main difference lies on the motivation and starting point of the project. In crowdfunding, artists try to get their personal projects ahead. The starting point is on the artist’s side; they want to promote a project and try to get funds to succeed. In crowdsourcing the starting point is on the problem that needs to be solved; artists are asked to give a solution and the best one is rewarded, often by producing or buying it.
KITE: Talents United is currently seeking funding to aide with business development and marketing & communication. What have been your experiences been like in terms of seeking funding? What have been some of the challenges in terms of finding investor(s)?
RP: We are finding difficulties because of the model. Community based models are riskier and more complex than e-commerce or any other model where the user is also the client. Spain is still a very small and conservative investing market that looks for projects that can generate incomes quickly. Instead, we need to grow fast, and the bigger we become the easier clients will come and more different income sources will be able to be developed.
In addition to that Art and Culture represent a more conservative sector with a high social impact but structured in lots of small micro-markets, each one with different drivers and characteristics.
Our main challenge is to convince investors about the scalability of the project and our revenue model, both relying on a brand new value proposition in the market. Our project creates new market rules and new spaces for art sponsorship and patronage, and sometimes it is a challenging task to show it.
KITE: What are the main reasons why investor(s) should fund Talents United?
RP: If I have to choose just one reason, I would say that Talents United is a pioneer project in a fast growing market that provides a totally different relationship between creators and society.
Digging a little bit into our core values, I would stress some key aspects:
• There are big competitors (raising tens of million dollars) in the United States but focused in English market. We have the chance to be leaders in the South American and European markets. Spanish is key for success in our future international growth.
• Great ideas worth nothing without a great team to develop them, and we are a very experienced team, perfectly fitted to deal with the project. We have strong knowledge of Internet, entrepreneurship and specific skills (including a consolidated technical company as a shareholder and partner)
• We have an active and fast growing community, which grows even faster when investment is put in place (communication, self-promotion, challenges, etc.)
• Last, but not least, important clients have supported us and have partnered with us in highly successful projects