Kofi Frimpong doesn’t play around when he gets an idea. This
twenty-something Princeton grad is a successful serial entrepreneur who founded MealTics, an online crowdfunding
platform that makes it easy for people to donate meals from their
favorite restaurants to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
Frimpong, who resides in New Jersey, also won eight business pitch competitions worth nearly $80,000. He later went on to co-found tech startup BrandSlip, a marketplace for mid-level influencers on Vine/Instagram. The company’s influencer reach is more than 400,000,000 people and and it specializes in multicultural digital influencers, with an emphasis on African American, Latino, and Asian communities. “With the rise of digital social media stars, I realized there was an unrecognized opportunity for them to market brands in really innovative ways. These influencers with large followings across various social media platforms have fanbases that are engaged in their content. And brands are always interested in raising brand awareness through social media marketing. It’s a great opportunity for influencers to monetize their platforms by being paid to promote brands,” explains Frimpong on why he co-founded Brandslip. To start it, he bootstrapped the company and then eventually raised a seed round of $250,000.
Because its type of branding concept is relatively new, the company has had to convince people of the possibilities. “Some of the challenges revolved around pitching a new type of marketing to ad agencies and digital agencies that may not have been as familiar with or even skeptical of this type of marketing. We had to show them the value by offering discounted services to begin with and then gain their trust,” says Frimpong. “Some challenges involve building relationships with ad agencies and digital agencies. As young African American founders, we don’t have the same types of connections that others may have. We are still trying to gain more connections to investors, ad agencies, digital agencies, major brands and more. We realize that it’s a process,” he adds.
What makes BrandSlip different from other branding/marketing companies is the unique. services it offers. “Rather than being just a services company, we actually provide a tech-based platform that can automate some of the deals. We are also launching more tools for influencers where as our competitors are solely focused on catering to the brands. We believe it’s the social media stars that provide the most value with their creativity,” Frimpong points out.
Frimpong wants to make a major mark with BrandSlip. “Long term, I would like to be considered a one-stop shop for digital social media stars to be able to monetize their platforms as well as connect and collaborate with each other. Eventually, we will entertain acquisition offers,” he says. And his timing might be right. “TV marketing and traditional marketing, in general, is starting to fade. Brands have to begin to find new creative ways to reach their target demographics and we are blazing the trail for this. BrandSlip can reach hundreds of millions of people by utilizing social media stars on Vine, Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram,” he notes.
Frimpong is more than excited by the future possibilities and by his work. He shares, “I love meeting new and exciting creatives. These are individuals who are setting trends on the Internet and it’s exciting to watch these social media stars grow and entertain new opportunities.”