I have some exciting news! It’s been a long time in the making, but I can finally share the launch of Aries Media Project, a network committed to accelerating media and entertainment startups in emerging markets. Aries acts as a bridge between local founders building businesses in the media sector, and a global network of operators, advisors and investors who have a vested interest in those regions.
As someone who is deeply passionate about the social impact of entertainment, particularly in emerging economies, I’m optimistic that this will play a small, contributing role in harnessing media and entertainment for good.
My journey down this path began years ago when I worked in Kabul for one of the largest telecom companies in Afghanistan. I witnessed firsthand how this company invested in critical infrastructure, improved economic outcomes, and invested in content that drove cultural dialogue. For me, this was the ultimate proof of concept.
From then on, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my career learning as much as I could about media and entertainment from the best companies in the world, so that one day, when I felt like I had the knowledge and experience that I needed to add value, I could support other businesses that were replicating that model.
Over the past few years, in my evenings and weekends (and occasionally on vacation), I’d started meeting with founders across South Asia, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa who were building some of the most inventive businesses I’d ever seen. Ventures that ran the gamut of content production, music streaming, esports, publishing, AR/VR, Web3, and so much more.
Through that, I realized how much value could be created by connecting like-minded entrepreneurs – something that’s easy to take for granted if you live in an entertainment hub like Los Angeles, New York, or London, where you could find your next investor at a pub down the street.
Whether it’s linking founders who are building similar products oceans apart, or introducing entrepreneurs to potential advisors and investors, there’s clearly a market inefficiency that puts media startups in emerging markets at a structural disadvantage, and Aries Media Project is a first attempt at solving that at scale.
If you’re a founder in an emerging market building a startup in the media space, or if you’re interested in working with startups like that, I would love to meet you, and I can’t wait to connect with more of you from around the globe.
The Final Blog Post
I want to make sure I’m focusing my time and attention on the things that are going to drive the greatest impact, so with that, this is going to be my final blog post. I started this blog three years ago as an experiment of sorts. I was passionate about the social impact of media and entertainment, and wanted an outlet to explore that in parallel with my day-job. Writing helped me do that in a way that was structured, intentional, consistent, and enabled me to share the thesis I’m so passionate about with my friends and colleagues. Today, almost 40 writeups later, I feel better positioned than ever to take that thesis a step further, and Aries has become the next evolution of that.
If you’ve been following along, reading a post here and there, trading your clicks for likes and comments, or sending along words of encouragement: Thank you! You know how much this means to me, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people like yourselves who affectionately poke and prod to keep it going. And while this might be The Final Blog Post, I’m excited to see what this next chapter has in store, and look forward to sharing that with you, too.