Hi friends. I’m Spiffy, your favorite interplanetary journalist talking with a creative entrepreneur who’s finding ways to impact UN SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth. Daniel Kang is co-founder of Flowbo, a unique funding platform for online creators. I think you’re going to love hearing about his journey to becoming an entrepreneur. Let’s see how he did it!
Spiffy: Welcome Daniel. I’m really curious to hear about Flowbo. Can you start by telling me what challenge you are addressing?
Daniel: It’s great to be here, Spiffy! We’re working towards making capital accessible to people in a fair way. At Flowbo, we’re starting with creators on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. We help them get paid on time for the work they do with brands. We also fund them to grow! For example, if a gaming YouTuber wanted to develop their own game, we’d fund it today and be paid back over time. In the future, we want to help musicians, artists, and freelancers who are doing great work—but not in traditional 9-5 jobs.
Spiffy: Wow, this is a new-to-me idea. Can you tell me what motivated you to work specifically with online creators?
Daniel: Growing up as an immigrant, below the relative poverty line, I felt like my career choices were pretty limited. I loved performing music in all genres—from conducting the school concert band to singing in a vocal jazz group. But music didn’t seem like a feasible option for me because of my background and because artists and creators have less access to services than people with “normal” jobs. Capital is one access everyone needs and enabling people to pursue what they enjoy is what motivates me.
A screenshot from Flowbo. (Image courtesy of Daniel Kang)
Spiffy: That’s a pretty big motivation, Daniel. How would you say Flowbo is helping to create a more equitable world?
Daniel: Career is when you work because you’re internally motivated with a purpose. Job is when you work only because you get paid. Most people have to give up careers for jobs. Flowbo is enabling more people to have their own careers, by giving them fair access to capital. With Covid, especially, people saw that no company can guarantee jobs. Beginning with online creators, we’re helping people start and accelerate their careers.
Spiffy: Can you tell me about a recent milestone that Flowbo has reached? What kind of impact do you anticipate?
Daniel: We’ve built our product and launched a “beta”—it’s like a test-run you try with a small group of people to make sure everything works and allows you to get substantial feedback. After two weeks, we already funded tens of thousands of dollars for creators to get paid early and grow their passion. We’re going to gather their feedback and improve this product so we can help thousands of creators get paid on time and grow their careers.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, I always ask entrepreneurs about their experience with failure. What about you Daniel? Have you ever experienced failure and what did you learn?
Daniel: In my junior year of college, I wanted to find a summer internship. By summer, I received over 150 rejections from companies. But in late May, I got a call from OZY Media. I had shared with them my passion to start a project to help elderly people in poverty. OZY Media and a panel of senior executives like the SVP of Google chose to fund me to go do it. They enabled me to create my own career. Now I do the same. Companies that rejected me didn’t see my value. OZY Media and their executives did. Don't doubt yourself because of others. Work with people who believe in you, value you, and enable you.
Spiffy: That’s is stellar advice, Daniel. I’ll pass this onto our readers. Thanks for telling us about Flowbo, and the ways you’re igniting a platform for online creators! It’s been an honor.
Daniel Kang is an advocate for fair access to capital for everyone. He’s currently the co-founder of Flowbo, focused on helping creators. Previously, he was an investment professional at Softbank Vision Fund and helped tech companies grow. He studied finance at McGill University and policy at the University of Oxford. (Nominated by Unshackled Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 10, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.