Tech veteran, serial entrepreneur, and advertising specialist (not exactly a title, but more a description of his current job) Darren Herman will be at the forefront of KBS+P’s latest evolution. The ad agency is breaking new ground as it plans on funding startups. In a post on his website four days ago, Herman announced the launch of KBS+P Ventures, which will engage in early-stage investing in startups who can use the agency’s expertise to realize their ideas. It’s quite a match, especially since KBS+P’s clients are a who’s who of megabrands like Armani, BMW, Coca Cola, etc.
Here’s Darren Herman explaining his new role and the objectives he’d like to achieve as the man driving KBS+P Ventures:
“I’ll continue to lead, inspire, and execute against Chief Digital Media Officer responsibilities with the added responsibility of sourcing, analyzing, and green lighting (along with our investment committee) seed & early stage technology driven investment opportunities that provide mutual value to both the entrepreneur and to our agency at large.
There are three areas that we look for in opportunities that aren’t dissimilar to other investment arms/funds:
- Team: Are we backing the best possible people who are exploring an idea thesis? If not, what needs to be added to the team?
- Idea: We like to back big ideas that can be executed against today. If the idea is too large and is too far out in the future, then the idea isn’t for us, kbs+p Ventures.
- Demonstrable Traction: We like to see momentum. Can you demonstrate traction that you have gained with your idea? Do you have either an open or private beta? Demonstrable traction shows us two things: 1) the market at some level is taking to the idea and 2) it shows us that you can execute.”
Herman also had this to say about the trailblazing nature of KBS+P Ventures during a recent interview:
“We expect other agencies to follow us into the space should we show success. Right now, there are very few significant marketing services organizations that understand the early stage ecosystem who have a combination of startup technology operating experience mixed with their agency DNA. One of our key differentiators is that we’ve been on both sides of the fence and understand what startups need to succeed.”