Investing in Future Stars: Funds Begin to Bet on People Not Startups

May 7, 2021
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-next-big-trade-from-yes-or-no-bets-to-security-tokens-11617897696?mod=foesummaries
How do you invest in yourself? We all do it; whether that means saving up for college to acquire skills for a future career or practicing meditation to develop positive habits and feelings.

What more people want to know is, how do you convince others to invest in you? For many entrepreneurs this looks like creating a unique business with huge potential for growth in order to acquire funding from venture capital funds. However, investment funds do not only fund business ideas, more and more there is a movement towards funding future musicians and athletes with the potential to succeed in these competitive careers.

A growing number of startups are streamlining the process of investing in young musicians and athletes. For example, Big League Advance is an investment fund which offers promising athletes cash advances in exchange for a percentage of their future salary. Stem Disintermedia Inc. has a similar investment strategy but focused on artists in the music industry; musicians value their album sales and digital streams, then share a portion of their profits with various patrons. Their goal is to prevent young artists from signing contracts with record labels that will take ownership of the artists entire discography.

Some proponents for these agreements, like Michael Schwimmer – a former Major League Baseball pitcher – see the potential for these investments to expand into other high-paying career fields, like medicine. Critics however, worry that such investment schemes may manipulate young artists into a lifelong financial commitment for a small sum of money upfront.

Platforms like these allow investors to invest directly in people and their abilities.

- Julia Wood '22