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  • Writer's pictureConnar Stratton

Startup idea #5: Influencer incubator

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Idea: An incubator that specialises in co-founding new lifestyle brands with influencers. E.g. Co-founding a tech product business with MrWhoseTheBoss, or co-founding a new fashion line with a fashion YouTuber.

Problem: Influencers want to find new monetisation avenues, but recognise the risk of partnering with an external company. They’ll seem like a sell-out, have limited brand control, and QC control.

Insight: Instagram is proving that individuals resonate less with brands than the people who lead them. In the future, people won’t want to buy Shiseido or Nike, they’ll want to buy JJ Lin, or Michael Phelps.

Validation method: This is a tough one. You’ll need to sell directly to influencers. Without existing contacts, or an established brand, it’ll be tough to be taken seriously. Try find some mico-influencers who are less than 50,000 followers first. If they get excited enough about your idea, perhaps they can pass you on to the larger influencers. The other method is approaching the agencies that many influencers partner with. You will need a sales deck.

Notes: This is already being done to some extent. When you look at MrBeast, Sidemen, or Ryan’s World they’re already establishing chocolate, fast food, and toy businesses. They understand that customer acquisition is the hardest part of any product business, and are taking advantage of their captive base. The problem is that, lacking a scalable approach or formula, influencers with smaller fan bases will lack the capital, or business know-how to create their own brands.

Why am I doing this? I’m an innovation consultant who helps businesses build new products, and ventures. And I want people to see how easy it is to build, and validate an initial business idea. Hopefully inspiring them to start their own business.

Am I worried that people will take the ideas? I hope they do. These ideas will hopefully make the world a better place. Just remember, “Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything”. What’s most likely is that within a month of testing the idea, the idea would have completely pivoted, but this is a starting point.


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