Our CEO, Travis York, has brought his entrepreneurial spirit to a number of business ventures over the years – from a sneaker company to a motorcycle magazine to a seventh-generation drum company. In 2019, he doubled down on this entrepreneurial spirit further by establishing the York Creative Collective (YCC) – a privately-owned ecosystem of creative ventures working together to maximize their growth potential. YCC ventures are given access to a comprehensive suite of resources to help them thrive so that they can prioritize and focus on what drives their business forward. GYK Antler sits at the center of the Collective, as our creative marketing services help propel growth and fuel competitive advantage.
As a seasoned investor and marketer, Travis has a unique take on the combination of ingredients he believes makes a potential venture truly compelling. In a new op-ed published in Entrepreneur – “3 Ways Investors Assess Your Business (That Have Nothing to Do With Money)” – Travis talks about three “intangibles” he looks for when assessing an investment, Creativity, Craft & Quality, and Authenticity, and why evaluating ventures through this criteria is actually good business.
To layer on some additional context beyond these three key attributes in his article, we also wanted to introduce you to a few YCC ventures (and GYK clients!) and why Travis believes these businesses and their leaders embody these traits.
Creativity: The two co-founders of Iron & Air Media — whose entrepreneurial venture rests squarely on the shoulders of their personal passion — are the perfect example of this concept. Iron & Air Media produces Iron & Air Magazine, a quarterly, heavy-stock magazine celebrating motorcycles and all the places they take us. As true motorcycle enthusiasts, the creative entrepreneurs behind Iron & Air create the types of content they want to consume. They dive deep into the wide range of individuals who find freedom in motorcycling using custom photography, illustrations and emotive storytelling to fill each of its 114 pages. Every edition is truly a collectible piece of art. Whether it’s documenting the journey of female riders who became fast friends while exploring New Mexico on their Indian Motorcycles, or commissioning an artist to design mid-century-meets-modern covers inspired by the timeless designs of the iconic Triumph motorcycle — you can feel the creative passion behind every page of Iron & Air’s product and its makers’ painstaking effort to create something that’s one of a kind for fellow enthusiasts.
Craft & Quality: Noble & Cooley is a seventh-generation drum company that has transcended generations from the Civil War through the Industrial Revolution and into the modern age. With a firm reputation rooted in its history, it took that foundation of drum manufacturing and tinkered with the way it markets. Today, Noble & Cooley still handmakes everything, ensuring they’re only making quality items, even if that means selling less. They take their time on their craft to ensure nothing about their product is compromised.
Authenticity: For a digital sports management company like Kompany39, I was drawn to the Founder & CEO’s passion and personal story behind the idea. As a former professional hockey player, he knew the opportunity and impact for athletes at any level to make the most of their personal brand. His proficiency in understanding the nuances of how athletes operate is an unmatched skill that can’t be manifested without living it first. Moreover, his self-awareness was unmistakable. He consciously stays vigilant expanding on what he knows and fine-tuning his room for growth. There’s a credibility to their service with the ability to relate to their target audience on the one thing they’ve shared — the game. That connection is invaluable.
Check out the piece to learn the combination of these ingredients, with creativity at the core, will typically lead to superior performance metrics in the form of better performing, more-loved brands with more-loyal customers. Read it here.