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CEO Farah Allen Is Solving IP Protection With Blockchain

Written by Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

Might 28, 2019

IP protectionFarah Allen, CEO of The Labz. Photograph offered

While streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora continue to grow, the IP protection instruments are still missing for music creators to operate their craft as a business and become profitable.

After years of stagnant numbers, the music business is rising because of streaming platforms and know-how. Complete revenues in 2018 have been $19.1 billion, in accordance with the IFPI’s International Music Report 2019. Latin America confirmed the very best numbers for regional progress.

In an business the place the emphasis on know-how is more about creating the music than organizing and monitoring it, songwriters, producers and attorneys need entry to tools to help monetize their business.

CEO Farah Allen is trying to shut the gap between the artistic and royalty processes together with her new platform, The Labz.

I began The Labz for a few causes. One was the shortage of government alternatives within the know-how sector for me, as a Black lady.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, an internet platform making it simpler for the artistic group to determine possession and proportion splits for future revenue.

The Labz is a web-based platform that works to make proudly owning the rights to your work “as easy as file sharing and writing lyrics,” per its web site. Users create an account and collaborate on the platform, secured via blockchain, to help make it easier to find out ownership and proportion splits for future income.

An IT advisor and safety specialist by commerce, Allen developed the software-as-a-service answer over the previous few years and just lately launched it.

Via steerage from accelerator packages corresponding to DigitalUndivided and Comcast LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs, her company is on the street to turning into a player in intellectual property (IP) safety.

Atlanta-based The Labz just partnered with the Country Music Affiliation. It opened a satellite office in Nashville and has one deliberate in Los Angeles.

In a dialog with Moguldom, Allen shared the benefits of attending an accelerator program, the frustration of being ahead of her time and how she built a million-dollar system with $50,000.

There was a continuous loop of lawsuits over copyrights. I was already solving the issue in my world of tech consulting for companies. I saw the analysis, I knew I might do it, and I fell in love with the problem.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, a web-based platform making it simpler for the artistic group to determine possession and proportion splits for future revenue.

Moguldom: Why did you begin The Labz?

Farah Allen: I began The Labz for a couple of causes. One was the shortage of government alternatives in the know-how sector for me, as a Black lady. One more reason was that I heard about the issue within the music business with songwriters not protecting their work and having to struggle to take action. There was a steady loop of lawsuits and issues in litigations over copyrights. I was already solving the problem in my world of know-how consulting for companies. I did my research, and I noticed there wasn’t a solution that matched what I was giving corporate enterprises. Giant corporations have been being helped on this area, however when it got here to the artistic group, nobody was really fixing this drawback. I noticed the analysis, I knew I might do it, and I fell in love with the problem.

Moguldom:  Primarily that is what we need to do as entrepreneurs, right? We need to go and clear up a problem we consider needs to be solved. What has been the reception of your product from the music group because you don’t have a standard music background?

Creation, protection, and knowledge ought to be collected on the very beginning of the track creation course of. I see creators (not) eager to be businesspeople. I created a know-how the place the tech does the business part for them like another business.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, an internet platform making it easier for the artistic group to determine possession and proportion splits for future income.

Farah Allen: Defending songwriters has been a problem since music started. I began my research into this challenge about 5 years in the past. We began creating the thought, doing our research, talking to the overall business on a better degree, and then the laws started to vary. Pushing the principals behind the Music Modernization Act began turning into in style and one thing organizations have been making an attempt to push by means of for regulation by the federal government. It made this situation extra public and that was good for me and for The Labz because we have been already fixing a problem for which everyone was hastily looking for a solution.

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Out of the blue the business was talking about one thing I had already found out years ago — that creation, safety, and knowledge ought to be collected on the very beginning of the music creation course of. I see creators as eager to be creators and never the standard businesspeople. I created a know-how where they’re allowed to try this and the know-how does the enterprise part for them like some other business.

Moguldom: How are you using blockchain in your product and clients?

IP protectionFarah Allen, CEO of The Labz. Photograph offered

Farah Allen: Blockchain is how we understand the ownership knowledge and where the music is registered. Blockchain is nice for memorializing and time stamping when somebody does any sort of transaction. Presently, if someone is to argue that another person stole their music, legal professionals or litigators are doing in depth knowledge assortment for evidence. They’re amassing e mail info, they’re amassing e-mail transactions, they’re accumulating textual content messages, making an attempt to determine a timeline as to when all the things occurred. Plenty of these issues could be altered. A very good lawyer on the opposite aspect can say evidence collected in these primary manners do not matter as a result of it may be altered. But what blockchain does and what it’s presently doing in in the authorized world is appearing as the core proof because you can’t change the blockchain transactions. We’re giving that to our customers. You’ll be able to officially copyright your stuff, but we give you better safety than an e-mail or a database that’s not inside the blockchain.

We now have acquired gives to go to other industries with our similar platform. Industries like movie production, images, journalism and anyone that has issues within the space of their contribution on a collaborative venture. I feel we’re simply getting started.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, a web-based platform making it simpler for the artistic group to find out ownership and proportion splits for future revenue.

Moguldom: What challenges have you confronted since launching?

Farah Allen: Once we began, individuals had a hard time understanding how they might shield their work in the course of the creation course of. We spent a variety of time enlightening the music group on what we have been discovering with our analysis since our platform wasn’t built but.

One other challenge was fundraising. We had our ideas on how fundraising would go because we had this awesome concept and this nice workforce of execs which were there, executed that and I’m pretty awesome myself, however fundraising was a challenge. We might see corporations with an analogous value proposition as us go on to boost $5 million. We couldn’t work out why we weren’t raising even $20,000 at first.

It took a while for us to boost our first round of capital. We had already completed 90 % of the platform by the point we acquired funding. Being a Black lady, I had to be very savvy, get individuals onto the staff and get individuals enthusiastic about working with, serving to or even partnering us. I had to turn out to be all issues aside from a financial institution.

We constructed a million-dollar system with $50,000. It pressured us to do more analysis because we had no selection. It ended up being good a factor for us as a result of we know greater than we might have if we had cash initially. We’ve interviewed over 5,000 individuals. We understand creators on a degree that if in case you have not accomplished the research earlier than making an attempt to build a solution for it, you will build based on your understanding of what the need is as an alternative of understanding the client and constructing what creators need in a fashion they have to be introduced to them. But raising cash is tough because you by no means know if it’s because of what you appear to be, if buyers assume you aren’t prepared or prepared sufficient, or if it is a character thing. You never know.

Moguldom: How much have you raised in capital?

Farah Allen: We raised funds from Comcast Common, and Quake Capital. We simply closed a spherical with Quake Capital. Altogether we have now acquired 1 / 4 of one million dollars. We even have some personal angel buyers.

Moguldom: You’ve talked about some challenges. What are some notable wins?

Farah Allen: We’ve gotten nice help from the group generally. We do numerous talking and giving back. We’ve also shaped plenty of partnerships. We simply officially launched this month and we have already got B2B clients. Certainly one of our huge shoppers is RSG Media. We’re also working MyMy Music and the Disturbing tha Peace Production group led by Gerald Keys. We have now acquired provides to go to different industries with our similar platform. Industries like film production, images, journalism and anyone that has points within the space of their contribution on a collaborative venture. We’ve a good idea of the roadmap and the place this company might go internationally. I feel we’re just getting started and there are tons of opportunities and we’re excited about it.

Moguldom: You formally created this company in 2017, but just starting to sell and go to market this yr. You had one other firm earlier than that also targeted on the music business. What occurred?

Digitalundivided opened my eyes to the world and what it actually means to have a know-how startup that would in the future be value tens of millions of dollars.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, a web-based platform making it simpler for the artistic group to determine possession and proportion splits for future revenue.

Farah Allen: Yeah, I truly did a pivot. I had an analogous concept, nevertheless it wasn’t as complicated. The corporate was referred to as the Track Society App. It was a cellular app for music creators. We built that app within a few months. Sadly, we didn’t do enough research and we’ll admit it. It was good we pivoted because we realized there’s a method greater market and a lot more peoples’ lives that we will influence. Once we pivoted with the subsequent era of the product, we acquired so much help. We obtained into an accelerator and totally different packages. It was the distinction between night time and day from our first concept, which didn’t get any help. We went from just about virtually the identical thing on a cellular and smaller degree, to iterating and getting tons of help for one thing we hadn’t even constructed on the time.

Moguldom: Was it by way of the accelerator packages at Digitalundivided and Comcast the place you decided you needed to pivot? In that case, would you say it helped you to be part of an accelerator program?

Farah Allen: Yes. It was from those locations the place I discovered we needed to pivot. There’s an enormous gap of data you’ll be able to’t even predict for those who’ve only been in company America. I was at the very prime of my recreation as an IT marketing consultant and I had no concept the world that I was going into, and the ignorance I truly knew. I pivoted because I found more info by means of these packages. I discovered our first iteration was never going to be a scalable firm for causes I could not have googled. Google and the web are nice, but don’t offer you an in-depth information of what’s really true and what’s not true for what you are promoting. Digitalundivided really opened my eyes to the world and what it really means to have a know-how startup that would someday be value hundreds of thousands of dollars. I can’t ask my good friend that owns a Smoothie King or McDonald’s for info on what it means to grow a tech startup. Until you’ve got a very good mentor, advisor, or advisor that may breeze by means of the steps as you go alongside, I like to recommend individuals to go through an accelerator so individuals can understand their lack of information. It’s the difference between a yr or two of you ultimately finding out what you wanted to know all along.

Moguldom: You’re in Atlanta now, however you have been once dwelling in Miami. Have you ever thought-about relocating back to Florida because the tech scene is burgeoning?

Farah Allen: We simply partnered with the Country Music Affiliation and have opened a satellite tv for pc office in Nashville. We may also have a satellite tv for pc office in LA, as we’re working our means into theatrical TV, movie, music, and turning into the platform of selection for those sort of creators. Miami is house. It has reggae and Latin, roots there. We’re working to seek out opportunities and partners so it is sensible for us to go to Miami and make an influence there. We’re wanting to go into the Latin America and Caribbean market. As a Jamaican, I do know the world has some major music roots. The Caribbean island suffers from with the ability to shield their rights to their work as nicely. And so yes, I will probably be coming again to Florida sooner or later.

Moguldom: What do the subsequent five years appear to be for The Labz?

Farah Allen: Will probably be a billion-dollar company or will probably be going into an IPO with shoppers in several industries, not just music. We would be the No. 1 platform for collaboration and IP protection.

Blockchain is great for memorializing and time- stamping when someone does any sort of transaction. Blockchain is appearing as the core proof because you can’t change the blockchain transactions. We’re giving that to our users.

Farah Allen, CEO of The Labz, an internet platform making it simpler for the artistic group to find out ownership and proportion splits for future revenue.


About Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is an writer and digital advertising and PR professional for shopper manufacturers, retailers, causes and occasions. Based mostly within the Tampa-St. Petersburg space, she owns Above Promotions, a digital advertising, publicity and promotions firm. She wrote the guide, “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.”