Inkster was established in 2019 with the mission of helping musicians and artists effectively market themselves and generate a sustainable income. Powered by an online community of artists, this live streaming social platform enables artists to receive payment directly from fans for their content and paid for live streams. By allowing artists to get paid for doing what they love and providing their fans with a front-row seat and backstage pass to their performances and content, Inkster brings together artists and fans like never before.
HOW IT STARTED
The concept for Inkster was initially created in 2014, but it wasn’t until five years later that it came to full fruition. Founder Danny Gibson understands the struggling artist well and noticed that most artist platforms favoured more recognizable artists with larger social followings and famous entities, providing them with more robust marketing support or algorithms that made it nearly impossible for up-and-coming artists to make a name for themselves. He also recognized that while the creation of these platforms was intended to help struggling artists, they only added another layer of work. Wanting to create a platform that levelled the stage for all artists, he developed Inkster to help monetize everything that they do
HOW IT HAPPENED
Innovation can seem easy, but the execution is much more complex. Though the financial support Gibson had received from a colleague to build his MVP was a great start, he realized that he needed entrepreneurial support to reach his startup goals successfully.
“When I first came up with the idea for Inkster, I had lofty goals and was a bit all over the place.” Gibson says, “I have a strong background in business and marketing, but I knew that if I was going to do this right, I had to approach it with more structure. I wanted to start from scratch and take all the proper steps from ideation to market launch. Spark Centre’s approach was exactly what I was looking for.”
Gibson joined Spark Centre in 2019 and revelled in the positive energy, mentorship and like-minded network of professionals. Spark Centre provided the mentorship needed to help Gibson compartmentalize his ideas and develop solid plans while also connecting him with government funding, product testing facilities and the talented people who would soon become his invaluable team.
WHERE THEY ARE TODAY
Gibson’s unwavering passion, dedication and marketing savvy, paired with far-reaching entrepreneurial support from Spark Centre and its alliances, has taken Inkster from an idea conjured up in a basement to a much anticipated innovative platform today. Now consisting of ten team members, Inkster recently completed the development of its MVP and is currently undergoing testing at Durham College’s Centre for Cybersecurity and Innovation, which was made possible with funding from the government. Inkster has also begun preparations to begin fundraising.
While Inkster hasn’t officially launched just yet (the launch will follow the completion of testing), the team has been busy spreading the word and drawing excitement from the artistic community and their supporters. This budding interest and excitement is proof that this innovative startup is onto something big and is destined for success.
When asked what advice he had for fellow startups, Gibson had this to say: “Don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t understand your business idea. Take it as an opportunity to refine your message and explain it better next time. Also, surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you because they will be the ones who will be there to back you up during your struggles.”