SCADpro Fund backs Angela Benton’s Streamlytics
Angela Benton is no start-up neophyte. Her previous ventures BlackWeb2.0 and NewME garnered hosannahs from CNN, Business Insider, and Marie Claire. She enlivened Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology and Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs lists. She made mind-meld business mates with influential actor Issa Rae.
“A lot of startups come across as versions of pre-existing services, while Streamlytics is something new,” says Ray Crowell, SCADpro Fund managing director. “Making the decision to invest in Streamlytics also means committing to a more equitable internet, where users benefit from the sale of their personal data.”
“Streamlytics enables users to get paid for their data,” Benton explains. “We buy your data from you, clean it, enhance it, and then it gets sold to companies who can leverage it.”
As more users get wise to being used by Big Tech, Streamlytics makes clear that personal data has value, and users should get paid accordingly.
“Data drives society,” Benton says, “no ifs ands or buts. The problem is that our data is often exploited and our privacy violated. We see that with targeted ads and targeted misinformation that drives real-world consequences.”
One benefit of her SCAD master’s degree, explains Benton, “is that I’m able to conceptualize and manifest my ideas. I’m doing the design work to bring an idea to life. A lot of founders are reliant on other resources. I’ve been able to harness the creative education I received at SCAD to be successful in business.”
That success is one of the reasons Benton was invited to Savannah in 2019 for StartUp, the annual week-long design sprint hosted by SCADFLUX and SCADpro. In a geographic twist, that was the first time Benton, a graduate of SCAD eLearning, visited the city of Savannah in person.
“Josh Lind [executive director, SCADpro] found me on LinkedIn and invited me to StartUp,” Benton remembers. “I was so impressed by the students I met. We talked about their creative process, how to pitch and position your company, and how to raise funding. I was evaluating students’ business plans and giving feedback, suggesting they use a certain methodology.”
At StartUp, Benton and Crowell served as judges together. “Seeing Angela work with our students gave me significant insight into the type of founder and leader she is,” recalls Crowell. “Having her among the portfolio of founders is an honor and significant benefit for our next generation of creative leaders in business.”
As Streamlytics CEO, Benton believes SCADpro Fund may represent a new model of how institutions of higher education can promote alumni business development. “It’s common for university endowments to invest in VC funds in the tech space, but what feels innovative about SCADpro Fund is that SCAD is investing directly in the alumni founders they believe in.”
SCADpro Fund also functions as a creative consultancy for alumni entrepreneurs. “The education aspect of SCADpro Fund is compelling,” Benton says. “I’ve been working with Ray on how to use creative methodology to set Streamlytics corporate strategy.” The fact that SCADpro Fund is not a hands-off investment, but an engaged, ethical partner may prove to be a key to Streamlytics’ success.