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Entrepreneurship

Meet Gen-Z’s Teenage Football Meme Tastemaker

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In a few short years, 19-year old Austin Stenson has become one of the largest influencers and most recognizable faces in the Instagram meme community. Austin creates and features pieces of funny content daily on his Instagram page, @__extendo__, which often reverberate throughout Instagram, being reposted by dozens of other pages. He has over 1 million hyper-engaged fans, mostly composed of teenagers and college students (as well with A-list celebrities such as Bella Thorne and Diplo). Along with being a distributor of memes, he has become one himself. His face is often incorporated in memes or used as a reaction picture. With his platform has come partnership opportunities and promotional deals from brands and budding artists, looking for new and effective ways to reach young audiences.

 

Being within the demographic he’s posting for, Austin has his finger on the pulse of content that’s “in”. His page is regularly used as a feeding ground by larger pages looking to find content to reshare. His tweets are often reposted by more traditional internet media outlets such as Worldstar. Austin has also spurred viral crazes such as his “earth sandwich” stunt, which garnered 10s of millions of impressions.

 

Austin was born in Opelika, Alabama, but raised in Atlanta. He’s the youngest of 3 children, having 2 older sisters. Growing up, he’d get in trouble in school for bad behavior because he would mess around and try to be funny. When he’s away from his phone, he spends most of his time playing video games or basketball.

 

I had the chance to interview Austin to share his social media story.

 

Tell me about your Instagram journey.

Austin: If I had to summarize my Instagram journey I’d say it’s a teenager who turned nothing into something. Some of my most memorable moments is when my first meme page got deleted on Halloween 2016 and after that I made the meme page I have now and hit 100k in March just 5 months after my first page got deleted. It felt like a setback followed by a comeback. A notable event is in the summer of 2017 I beefed with smokepurpp over Bella Thorne which led to Bella Thorne and Smokepurpp  following me. He even went live dissing me and me and him raided each other’s comments. And every milestone of me getting closer to a million is an achievement to me because when I first started my meme page, I didn’t think it’ll be this big. I didn’t think back in 2016 I’d have nearly a million followers, 100k+ on my personal page or nearly 100k on my twitter. So I’m proud of the support I’ve always got from the followers.

 

What made you start Instagram?

Austin: It was just out of boredom, I use to just watch YouTube videos a lot all summer. I also already had Instagram but I was just a regular dude who followed meme pages. Then I thought it would be cool to try to get into the meme game since I always loved memes and seen the fun in the community from the outside. The page that inspired me the most was a page called Ksteezy, that was my favorite page at the time and I wanted to be like him. But I never would I think me being bored during summer would lead me to make a life changing decision. So that’s how the extendo persona was born.

 

What is your advice to others who want to build a large, engaged audience?

Austin: Try to interact with your followers, as your page gets bigger it’s gonna be a lot harder to do so, so even try to interact in your comment section or do things on your page that involves engaging with your followers. And try to be personal and show your personality it what makes you different.

 

What are your plants for the future?

Austin: Right now I’m in college so that’s a focus of mine, I also want to continue to build my brand on my meme page, my personal page, my twitter and twitch. So hopefully more success, more business opportunities and continue to interact with my supporters

 

Thanks for the interview! What’s the best way for our readers to find you?

 

Instagram: @stendo

Twitter: @extendobans

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Entrepreneurship

How To Build A Thriving Brand in 2020 With Entrepreneur Marco Calamassi

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Marco Calamassi  is an Italian entrepreneur and founder of BrandsBuilder. BrandsBuilder helps influencers, web personalities, celebrities and media companies develop their own brand, product or service that speaks to their audience. It takes them from Brand Sponsorship to Building and Scaling their own brand.

What is your background ?

My background is in Business Management. But I’ve been involved with online commerce since I was 10, Ebay.com was just becoming a thing and while my friends were outside playing soccer, I was searching suppliers in China and order a full ship container of goods.

What was your first business venture ?

First “online” business I managed to setup was buying and selling sneakers. It was the early history of Ebay and online sales were starting to skyrocket, at the end of the past century. Economies were booming and consumerism was at its peak. I was 10 and making between 5 and 8k a month.

What was your first success story ?

A surprisingly successful business deal was the purchase of a full container of Jumping Stilts when I was like 12. When I saw the truck with the ship container arriving at my house, from China, made me “wow”. I was able to flip those Stilts for a 6x markup.

Remember to follow him on Instagram

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Entrepreneurship

From College Football Star to Fitness Apparel Owner; Journey of Justin Allen

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Justin Allen

For most athletes the next step after college is to head straight into the major leagues. Whether that is the NFL, the NBA, the MLB or even the NHL the journey to get to the next level is almost 90% of all collegiate player’s plans. They put their bodies on the line for those college years without the ability to earn a penny from their talents on the field. Getting to the next level is the common goal that makes all the hard work and sacrifices throughout college worth it.

Meet Justin Allen. He is a serial entrepreneur, but before all of that he was a nationally ranked linebacker at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He attended that college as a business management major which propelled him not to the NFL, but to be the owner of several companies. His biggest company to date is a fitness apparel clothing called “DA Method Apparel”.

Planting the seeds

Since an early age Justin Allen knew he was going to be an entrepreneur. Although he had dreams of playing in the NFL, his vision of ownership eclipsed those thoughts. He went to share with me that entrepreneurship has always been apart of who he was. He came from a very driven, disciplined and hardworking background. His parents were hard workers so it was something that was always around him. Although as child, his job was always to focus on his education, his personal love for sports, work ethics of determination, dedication and follow through seemed to reveal itself in everything that he did. Whether it was in the classroom, church, the football field or just as a leader amongst his peers. When a strong foundation is built on those principles it becomes second nature to put your all into everything you touch.

Determinate Action

Understanding Justin’s passion for sports, entering into the fitness apparel industry was not to far from his love. Knowing he would be competing with some heavyweights in the fitness apparel industry such as Nike, Champion, Under Armor, Gym Shark and many more. I wanted to understand what inspired his company “DA Method Apparel”.

“The goal of DA Method is to be a lifestyle brand. The apparel is piece of a larger entity where the overall focus is to inspire and empower the whole individual to be the best that they can be, period. Being the best is more than physical, it’s mental, emotional and environmental” Justin says.

He believes in and stands by the principles of his brand Determinate Action – You as the determinate must put the method into action.

Turning Point

As a fellow entrepreneur there is always a turning point that puts us in a certain direction. Justin attributes his turning point to a time when he was working for another company and they asked him to either sell them his business or quit. It was then that he had to make a decision to make the safe and comfortable choice or go all in and bet on himself. Clearly he chose the latter.

PG Valor Basketball

To date his company is growing into one of the fastest fitness apparel companies nationwide. DA Method Apparel is the lead sponsor for the American Basketball Association PG Valor basketball team. They are also sponsors for many athletes in mixed martial arts, professional wrestling and boxing.

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Entertainment

Why Kaho Shibuya Was Born To Be An Entrepreneur

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Time is finite. Whether you accept this or not, one day your life on this planet will come to an end. While that is out of your control, what you make of this life is very much in your hands. For Kaho Shibuya, realizing this at a young age has changed the game for her and she wastes no time chasing her dreams and making a name for herself. 

A cosplayer and writer from Tokyo, Kaho has an incredibly diverse resume of work experience and has always been active in pursuing what she is passionate about. After watching American wrestling shows as a high schooler, she did not just develop a passion for the industry, she went all in on immersing herself in American culture. In fact, she became completely fluent in English in college and majored in international communication. Post graduation, she spent time as a newspaper publisher and reporter, worked as a school teacher that focused on the English language, and even spent time in the adult film industry where she garnered a large audience that would help her YouTube and entertainment ventures take off rapidly. 

At the moment, Kaho is fully invested in the entertainment industry, spending time as a DJ and appearing at anime conventions and meet and greets. In the coming months, she will be a voice actress on a brand new anime series that will be premiering. Her dedication to learning the English language has paid off in a major way as well, as she has been able to travel to the United States for anime conventions in Los Angeles and will be in Houston in July this year for another one.

While she started out as an office worker, her transition into entrepreneurship was a no brainer. She has always gravitated towards freelance work, and has always wanted to try new things that she would not be able to do at a desk job. While her experiences as a journalist were invaluable, she is able to work towards her passion every single day as an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. 

In Japan, agencies are extremely tough to work with, and take around half of its clients earnings before paying them. While Kaho used to suffer from a partnership with an agency, she has since grown her social media presence on Twitter and Instagram so much to the point where she has achieved independence and is able to take on clients that she is eager to work with rather than having to hit a certain number for her agency. 

While she is still young, Kaho Shibuya is a force in the anime and entertainment industry and will only look to grow her personal brand both in Japan and internationally, and it will not be long before she is a household name in her homeland and countries worldwide.

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