One-line solution summary:
A market network that connects creatives with opportunities in creative industries through an innovative skill quantification method.
Pitch your solution.
Stereotheque's cloud-based platform empowers creatives with tools to capture, curate, and convert skills into job offers and professional connections, while giving schools and organizations in the creative industries the data they need to create more businesses and recruit talent.
We want to be the catalyst for creatives getting jobs and impactful professional connections. Human creativity is the single most important asset we have as society, and representing $2.25 trillion USD per year globally, we want to make sure there is clear and transparent distribution and access to creative industries.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
Youth are three times as likely as adults to be unemployed, an alarming situation as young people are entering the job market in record numbers, especially with the advent of the COVID-19 outbreak which has paralyzed entire economies. The global youth unemployment rate reached 13.1% in 2017 with 70.9m young unemployed. In the US, the unemployment rate amongst youth 16-24 was 9.2% in 2018, and 2.1% for young graduates ages 25 and older. In Latin America, 40% of the unemployed population is young; a problem that replicates throughout the world with higher rates (ILO, 2019). As stated by the International Labour Organization (2019), the solution to this problem must be linked to improvements in the training of potential workers, since 1 in 3 employers say they can’t find the right personnel.
What is your solution?
Stereotheque provides young professionals access to resources and the right tools for skill-based career development in the Media, Music and Entertainment Industries, by weaving worldwide connections for multi-disciplinary cross-collaboration.
Users can onboard through a simple process and create a profile. This profile showcases 4 main data points including Education, Affiliations, Gear and Skills, as well as a Project Timeline where they publish projects and assign collaborators and roles.
Employers and organizations can visualize all potential candidates and teams by a simple drag-n-drop tool, where they can literally build a creative team at a fraction of the cost and time.
Stereotheque then provides a Team Success Index score which quantifies all skills and projects, helping the employer make the best informed decision when hiring or starting a new project.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) generate US$2,25 trillion of revenues and 29.5 million jobs worldwide, exceeding those of telecom services (US$1,570b). CCI employs 1% of the world’s active population and the top three employers are visual arts (6.73m), music (3.98m), and books (3.67m) (Source). Moreover, creative activities contribute significantly to youth employment. In Europe, CCI sectors typically employ more people aged 15–29 years than any other sector. In the Americas, 16% of workers are employed by the creative sector of the economy, drastically shifting the job market as it grows (LatinAmerican Post, 2017). In addition, creation is driven by small businesses or individuals, giving rise to agile and innovative entrepreneurs and employers. In the US, artists are 3.5 times more likely to be self-employed than US workers overall (Source).
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Equip workers with technological and digital literacy as well as the durable skills needed to stay apace with the changing job market
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.
As the challenge itself describes it: "The skills gap in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be the widest in the world."
We have built Stereotheque with the intricacies that the Latin American population needs, and as Colombians ourselves, we understood the gap in the market (and with the rising USD currency) and the opportunity it represented. By empowering young creatives with new skills and a cross-collaboration market network, we can put these skills to work by connecting them to better paying opportunities and access to creative industries.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?New York, NY, USA
What is your solution’s stage of development?Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
If you have additional video content that explains your solution, provide a YouTube or Vimeo link here:
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
Traditionally, marketplaces that focus on providing access to jobs or gig economy frameworks (i.e. UpWork, Fiverr, Workana - these are some of the competitors) prioritize the transactional component of 'one-to-one' (which is the online version of employer-employee relationship).
With Stereotheque, we have two key innovative components, besides our in-depth knowledge of the LatAm market and creative industries:
- As a market network, we combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
- We use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects, not just a quick transaction
- Promote the service provider (i.e. the creative) as a differentiated individual, helping build long-term relationships
- We've understood that the most efficient creative teams have a complimentary set of skills, yet it takes a lot of time to find a consistent and productive workflow among new team members.
- We've built a new way to quantify skills and measure the probability of success of new creative team members, we call this the Team Success Index.
- Employers who are looking to hire new team members can use the Drag n Drop team builder, and very quickly hire a creative team.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Our application is a web application based on Angular on the front-end as well as Python in the back-end, using Neo4J for our data model, and DevOps and deployment through AWS.
We've built recommendation algorithms as well as the TSI (Team Success Index) based on our own cross-referencing of effective teams.
Provide evidence that this technology works.
Our technology and application is already being used by over 6,000 creatives mainly in Colombia, Mexico, United States, Spain and UK. Additionally, companies in different sectors including Health and Wellness, Media and Entertainment, and Sustainability, are hiring creative teams through Stereotheque at a fraction of the cost and time.
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
The solution today serves approximately 6,000 creatives, and we'll be reaching 20,000 creatives, connecting them with approximately 700 companies.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Our goal within the next year is to establish ourselves as the referenced market network for creative industries, as described by the Inter American Development Bank and the Orange Economy goals in the LatAm and Caribbean Region. We want to provide meaningful jobs and income to 20,000 users.
Our goals within 5 years are to be the leading platform for creative industry jobs and networking in the LatAm and Caribbean region. We were recently recognized as one of 10 Entrepreneurship Ambassadors by the Colombian Trade Agency Organization of ProColombia and Marca Pais Colombia. With their help, we'll be able to reach approximately 70 million young creatives in Colombia and LatAm. Here's a Forbes article that explains in detail.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
Financial: Marketing and go-to-market strategies lead to a high investment to establish ourselves in the market.
Cultural: Some cultural differences between markets (i.e. USA vs LatAm) establishes different challenges including language and sales process dynamics.
Technical: Even though there are existing solutions, we believe that there will continue to be additional tech solutions, so we'll continue to be as advanced as possible.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
Financial: With the COVID-19 outbreak, we believe there are both challenges and opportunities. We are accessing small grants and regional opportunities. For instance, we recently delivered an app for creatives where they can explore new incentives and financial resources. This helps us grow and increase brand awareness: http://covid19.stereotheque.com
Cultural: We're currently iterating on how to properly address this, since we're A/B testing different ways of selling to our audiences, focusing on the high quality creatives we have on board.
Technical: Our technology stack is very robust, agile and up to date with most recent frameworks and APIs. We're continually testing with new machine learning (for recommendation algorithms) and blockchain approaches (for smart contracts between creatives and employers).
What type of organization is your solution team?For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
How many people work on your solution team?
4 full time
4 part time
How many years have you worked on your solution?
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
We are a hard-working and very committed team, we've been through several challenges and believe we can grow this company, not only based on our experience and skills, but also on how the market is evolving (i.e. Portfolium just got acquired by Instructure). As internationals (mainly from Latin America, based in the US), we have a diverse and multicultural perspective, as well as connections, which we think can be of great value to other fellow entrepreneurs of our cohort. Thank you!
Our experience includes having worked for United Nations, Leica Camera, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Royal Caribbean.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
We currently partner with universities and retailers including:
- Universidad De Los Andes (Music Department)
- Universidad Javeriana (Facultad de Artes)
- DNA Music (music school)
- Retro Knob (music retailer)
- ProColombia (Colombian Trade Agency)
What is your business model?
Our business model is B2B2C.
- Individual users have freemium accounts. When they upgrade for a small fee, they access new resources and tools within their profile including StereoTokens (which they can exchange in a marketplace for discounts and services offered by our partners)
- Organizations pay per project (starting at $200 per project), per team (starting at $50 per team building process), or white label solutions for their in-house teams (starting at $10,000 per year)
First year revenues will be $0.5 million USD, second year $2.3 million and third year $4.5mm based on financial projections.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Organizations (B2B)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
Our main source of funding comes from two sources:
- Revenue from existing clients
- We have received investment from Starta Ventures, 3 angel investors
Previously, we received grants from:
- MIT Technology Review and IADB Intalent Award
- NYU Entrepreneurship Lab Summer Launchpad
- IDARTES 2 awards
Our path to sustainability is based on a mix of revenue and investment from Angel investors and VCs which we're raising a round in the next quarter 2020.
Why are you applying to Solve?
We believe Solve can help us overcome our brand positioning and be able to compete in the future-of-work market with our solution, while also being able to bring more partners on board.
The current circumstances with the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the creative economies in an unprecedented way, leaving millions out of jobs, both from established and emerging economies. Therefore, we have a unique opportunity to bring new opportunities to solve this pressing situation for young people around the world by offering jobs and sustainable careers in creative industries.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
Our current marketing efforts are limited to organic and inbound marketing strategies. We believe that with the right institutional partnership (i.e. with universities in the LatAm region and other organizations), we can work to grow exponentially with more users and build more opportunities in the platform.
Additionally, our StereoTokens are a intra-currency which we provide to creatives once they do a particular action or use their skills. Once they have these Tokens, they can exchange them with offers or services. We'd like to partner with corporations who can give our users benefits and discounts.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
We want to bring new partners on board for our StereoToken Affiliate program:
- Starbucks (since they have a global presence)
- Retailers (i.e. Best Buy, Nike so they can offer discounts to our users)
Through Solve faculty members and institutional connections, we'd like to be contacted with other educational institutions in LatAm (i.e. Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica), to get involved with their career development departments and start building partnerships.