The Woodlands is the U.S. city with the No. 10 biggest holiday spending budget in 2023, and a few other Texas neighborhoods rank highly as well. The Woodlands Mall/Facebook

Santa and his elves get busier with every passing year, but sometimes even Kris Kringle has to use his black card to get the job done. And according to a new study by Wallethub, Santa's gonna be working overtime to fulfill the orders for residents of The Woodlands this holiday season.

The personal finance experts have determined The Woodlands is the U.S. city with the No. 10 biggest holiday spending budget in 2023. Shoppers in the affluent Houston suburb are expected to spend $3,316 this festive season.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, The Woodlands' estimated population of 114,436 had a median household income of $130,011.

This is The Woodlands' first time in the holiday shopping spotlight. The Houston suburb ranked a much lower – No. 71 – in last year's report with an average spending budget of $1,733. Way to step it up.

The nearby city of Sugar Land is a returnee, and moved up one place from No. 15 last year into No. 14 this year. The average holiday budget for a Sugar Land household is $3,210.

Houston fell into No. 209 this year with an average household holiday budget of $1,296. Houston skyrocketed away from its previous rank as No. 366 in 2022 with an average spending budget of $890.

Six other East Texas cities landed in this year's report on the heftiest holiday budgets:

  • No. 31 – Pearland ($2,566)
  • No. 34 – Missouri City ($2,517)
  • No. 234 – Beaumont ($1,244)
  • No. 238 – Pasadena ($1,237)
  • No. 407 – Conroe ($935)
  • No. 438 – Baytown ($872)

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio, and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Shoppers will have to keep a closer eye on their bank accounts this year while they search for the best gifts for their loved ones. Many consumers are running out of savings accumulated during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Yao Jin, an associate professor of supply chain management at Miami University.

To combat overspending, Jin suggests setting hard budgets based on personal financial circumstances and develop a list of "must haves" rather than "nice to haves."

"Holiday times are festive, and retailers know that festivities can boost mood and lead to a propensity to overspend," he said in the Wallethub report. "In fact, that is also why retailers tend to have more generous return policies to both alleviate concerns of unwanted gifts and buyer’s remorse. The key to avoiding holiday overspending is for consumers to take the emotions out of the decision, to the extent possible."

Other Texas cities that made it in the top 100 include:
  • No. 3 – Frisco ($3,546)
  • No. 5 – Flower Mound ($3,485)
  • No. 22 – Allen ($2,964)
  • No. 30 – Plano ($2,566)
  • No. 44 – Cedar Park ($2,354)
  • No. 56 – McKinney ($2,165)
  • No. 67 – Carrollton ($1,928)
  • No. 71 – Austin ($1,877)
  • No. 77 – Richardson ($1,809)
  • No. 95 – League City ($1,733)
  • No. 99 – North Richland Hills ($1,706)

The report and its methodology can be found on wallethub.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

When's the last time you went to a networking event? Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Houston is the 8th best metro for newcomers to make connections, study says

putting your network to work

A big city might seem impersonal, but don't be fooled. There's more going on behind the scenes than what a resident might be seeing through their local lens, especially in Houston. A recent LinkedIn study has revealed the best U.S. metros for newcomers to make connections quickly, and Houston's sprawling metro earned a spot in the top 10.

LinkedIn's economic graph data team analyzed over 3 million users from the networking social media platform who relocated to a new metropolitan area in 2021. For the purpose of this study, "connection rates" were determined based on a newly relocated user's new LinkedIn connections in each metro compared to the overall U.S. average. It also excluded student migrations to new cities to keep the analysis focused on the workforce.

Houston ranked No. 8, with a newcomer's connection rate being 8.2 times higher than the national average.

Making industry-specific connections with people in a new city can lead to beneficial outcomes, such as participating in more volunteer work, engaging with fellow entrepreneurs, or joining a fun club with likeminded hobbyists. (Of course, we like to think the best way to network in a place like H-town is to follow the No. 1 publication that stays up to date on local happenings, CultureMap.)

Other interesting findings mentioned in the study is that Gen Z workers (born in 1997 and after) had the fastest connection rates in new metro areas. When analyzing by gender, men made 30.5 percent more connections on average then women did after relocating. However, the fastest overall growth despite age and gender demographics occurs relatively quickly after a person relocated.

"The fastest growth in LinkedIn members’ overall pace for adding connections – including ones outside their new metros – occurred in their first two months after migrating," the report said. "By the third month, this connection rate stabilized at about half their initial level."

The No. 1 city for newly-relocated folks looking to expand their professional horizons is, unsurprisingly, New York City. The rate of LinkedIn users making new connections with others in the Big Apple is 11.1 times higher than the national average, the report found.

Ranking two spots below Houston in Texas is Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 10). The rate of newcomers making new connections in the Metroplex is only 7.8 times higher than the national average.

LinkedIn's top 10 U.S. metros for networking by newcomers are:

  • No. 1 – New York City
  • No. 2 – San Francisco Bay Area
  • No. 3 – Salt Lake City
  • No. 4 – Los Angeles
  • No. 5 – Boston
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 8 – Houston
  • No. 9 – Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • No. 10 – Dallas-Fort Worth

The full report can be found on linkedin.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Did you know that you can order an eco-conscious burger in Houston? Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy

Texas burger spot takes bite out of innovative, eco-friendly initiative

sustainable eating

Hearty Austin-based chain Hopdoddy Burger Bar has unveiled a new lineup of regenerative burgers that are supposed to be better for the planet and the consumer.

The term "regenerative burger" could cause a few head-scratches: Some may think of lab-grown or 3D-printed meat, while others think of plant-based alternatives but it’s neither. It is grass-fed meat, sourced a bit differently. "Regenerative farming" is a term used to describe farming and grazing practices that claim to restore and rebuild degraded soil, resulting in better-quality air and water.

Hopdoddy’s vice president of culinary Matt Schweitzer explained that it all began with with a sense of obligation to do better as a brand for the consumers and the ecosystem.

“We felt like we could really take a stand and look to move our entire supply chain in a regenerative fashion, so we could really be proud of the work we’ve done and we could hopefully leave the animals, the farmers, the ranchers, the native grasslands, and our planet a better place than before we started,” says Schweitzer.

The new menu items include the "Roosevelt Burger" with grass-fed regenerative bison; the "Nashville Hot Sandwich" with regenerative raised chicken; the "Regenerative Royale," which is a play on a classic double quarter-pounder with cheese; the "Mother Nature" with grass-fed regenerative beef; and the "Buffalo Bill" also uses regenerative bison, but appears not to be grass-fed.

The five burgers are available at all Hopdoddy locations nationwide. The beef and bison are sourced from Texas-based regenerative company Force of Nature, while the chicken is from Cooks Venture.

With this launch, Hopdoddy removes all plant-based meat substitutes from its menu, significantly reducing the options for vegans and vegetarians. The company felt the ingredients and ethos of the alternative meats — describing some such as Beyond Meats as "falsely advertised" regarding nutrition in a press release — no longer aligned with its values and mission. However, the house-made veggie patty remains on the signature "El Bandito" burger.

Schweitzer says the regenerative burgers have received positive feedback, as people are excited to know where their food comes from, how it gets to their table, and what type of impact it causes. Regarding the future of regenerative meat, he says there is no doubt it could become mainstream soon.

“I think the flavor profile, the eating experience, the story, the mission, the purpose, really speaks for itself," says Schweitzer. "So, I really think it’s a matter of time until 'regenerative' is talked about in the same way that 'organic,' or 'sustainable,' or those type of buzzwords are talked about."

To further show its commitment to regenerative agriculture, Hopdoddy is also one of the sponsors of Common Ground, a documentary about the pioneers of the regenerative movement, premiering October 4 in Austin. The "uplifting" film, according to a release, features well-known actors Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson, Jason Momoa, Woody Harrelson, Ian Somerhalder, and Donald Glover, emphasizing that this motley crew does share one thing in common: a strong belief in regenerative agriculture.

For more information about the new regenerative burgers, visit hopdoddy.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Nurses deserve all the love. Photo by Patty Brito on Unsplash

Texas earns healthy rating as 2nd best state for nurses, Forbes says

health care heroes

With a global pandemic in the rearview and an aging workforce reaching retirement in larger proportions, strong healthcare is becoming increasingly crucial in the United States.

Nurses are in great demand throughout the nation and can make significant impacts in a state like Texas, which was just named the No. 2 best state for nurses in a study by Forbes Advisor.

Texas currently employs more than 231,000 nurses, the second-highest number in the country behind California's 325,620 nurses. Florida rounds out the top three with more than 197,000 nurses employed.

There are several factors to keep in mind when considering a career as a nurse, but one has been in a lot of recent discourse: the salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says nurses in the U.S. earn a median salary of $81,220 per year. While healthcare company Trusted Health places a Texas nurse's annual salary at $74,540 - lower than places like Florida and California, adjusted cost of living can make Texas more attractive.

"Salary is a significant factor in any professional’s career decisions, but it’s not the only one to weigh when deciding where to work," the report's author wrote. "You should also consider job availability, economic demand, and licensing processes before settling on a place to grow your career."

Regarding job availability, Projections Central estimates there will be a demand for more than 16,000 nursing positions in Texas between 2020 and 2030 - the second-best job outlook in the U.S.

Texas is also part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which can help nurses transfer their licenses from other states.

"NLC members grant RNs multi-state licenses, which allow them to practice in any NLC-participating state without jumping through the hoops of meeting a new state’s specific licensing guidelines," the report says. "NLC nurses can offer their skills to another compact state in the event of a crisis and provide telehealth services across compact states."

The full report can be found on forbes.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

These could all be Californians for all we know. Photo via Local.AllState.com

Californians moving to Houston can save up to $646,000, study finds

money moves

Does it seem that Californians really are everywhere here in Houston? Here's why: A report by online storage finding platform StorageCafe has revealed just how much money the average Californian saves by taking on the title of transplant and relocating to the Lone Star State.

And more people from Los Angeles and Contra Costa counties are choosing Houston over any other area in Texas.

The migration report, which was released this summer by StorageCafe, states about 111,000 people moved to Texas from the Golden State in 2021, while only 33,000 Texans made the opposite move to California that same year.

The reasons why so many are flocking to Texas seem obvious: the lack of income tax, a lower cost of living, and the rise of remote work flexibility. These factors proved to be vastly important for millennials, who made up a majority of the transplants (46 percent).

Californians looking for a permanent Texas home can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by turning to Houston's booming housing market, where median home prices cost about $403,490.

With homes in San Diego ringing up for nearly $870,000, transplants can save $466,278 by buying a house in Houston. The Californians that save the most money on a new house hail from Orange County, where median prices cost over a million dollars. They can save $646,510 by purchasing a Houston home.

Renting an apartment in Houston is another financially advantageous move for California transplants, and will get them a larger space than what they can find in their home state. Rent prices in major California cities like San Diego and Los Angeles easily cost more than $2,600 a month, which is a far cry from Houston's median rent price of $1,336 per month.

Even for that amount of money, renters relocating to Houston from Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties can easily find apartments that are over 500 square feet bigger.

StorageCafe's sister site Yardi Matrix's business intelligence manager Doug Ressler gave his thoughts in the report about the major factors that keep motivating Californians to make that move to Texas.

"Inflation continues to be a major concern, putting a financial strain on many people as they spend more of their income on typical expenses," he said. "As a result, moving to places that are easier on the wallet seems like the obvious solution, with many people crossing city and state lines to find a more suitable place to live."

The trend is not likely to slow down anytime soon, either.

"Over the first two decades of the 21st century, the movement of people leaving California for Texas has been well established," Ressler said. "No other state has sent more migrants to Texas than California during this time. The continual soaring housing prices and cost of living in California and much greater affordability in Texas is likely to sustain the significant flows of Californians toward Texas in the coming decades."

The study's findings were determined using census data between 2017 and 2021 from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) tool. Home pricing information was found using data from real estate platform Point2.

The full study can be found on storagecafe.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Heath care organizations made up 20 percent of the top 100 employers on Forbes' list. Photo via houstonmethodist.org

Prestigious Houston hospital system named No. 1 large employer in Texas and No. 2 in U.S. by Forbes

where to work

Attention to all those seeking a career in the medical industry: this top city hospital is one of the best places to work for. Houston Methodist was named the best large employer in Texas, and second best employer in America, according to Forbes’ latest report.

Health care organizations are the shining stars in this year’s report; they represented 20 percent of the top 100 employers. Houston Methodist made some major improvements within the span of a year after being ranked No. 37 in Forbes' 2022 report. In another win for health care, Dallas’ University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center was placed at No. 19.

To determine their rankings, Forbes partnered with consumer data and statistics firm Statista to survey 45,000 employees at companies with a staff of 5,000 or more. The full list categorized 500 of America’s large employers that earned the most recommendations.

Other Houston-area companies on the list after Houston Methodist include:

  • No. 210 – Shell
  • No. 289 – Schlumberger, based in Sugar Land
  • No. 341 – BP
  • No. 383 – Sysco
  • No. 421 – Waste Management
  • No. 479 – Air Liquide

Elsewhere in Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area had the most employers on Forbes’ list, with 14 companies making an appearance after UT Southwestern Medical Center’s No. 19 ranking.

Dallas-Fort Worth area companies on Forbes’ list include:

  • No. 70 – Southwest Airlines
  • No. 83 – Topgolf
  • No. 164 – McKesson, based in Irving
  • No. 188 – Toyota North America, based in Plano
  • No. 250 – Jacobs Engineering
  • No. 268 – Texas Instruments
  • No. 339 – ExxonMobil, based in Irving
  • No. 369 – CBRE Group
  • No. 376 – American Airlines Group, based in Fort Worth
  • No. 400 – Aimbridge Hospitality, based in Plano
  • No. 403 – NTT Data, based in Plano
  • No. 410 – Republic National Distributing Company, based in Grand Prairie
  • No. 430 – AT&T
  • No. 497 – Crossmark, based in Plano

San Antonio had a top 10 contender on Forbes’ report for best employers: none other than Texas’ signature grocery store H-E-B. Other San Antonio companies that were ranked include United Services Automobile Association (USAA) at No. 42 and Whataburger at No. 493.

In Austin, five employers earned spots in Forbes' rankings:

  • No. 77 – Dell Technologies, based in Round Rock
  • No. 96 – Keller Williams Realty
  • No. 121 – University of Texas at Austin
  • No. 306 – Whole Foods Market
  • No. 454 – McLane Company, based in Temple

The full rankings and its methodology can be found at forbes.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Houston software company raises $50M series A, plans to scale

fresh funding

Just nine months after its seed round, a Houston startup with a software platform for the aesthetic and wellness industry has secured $40 million in venture capital and $10 million in debt facility.

RepeatMD, a SaaS platform, announced today that it's secured $50 million, which includes a $10 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. The round was co-led by Centana Growth Partners and Full In Partners with participation from PROOF and Mercury Fund, which also contributed to the seed round earlier this year.

The mobile ecommerce platform, launched in October 2021 by Phil Sitter, targets practices within the med spa and aesthetics industry. In the United States, the med spa market is slated to hit $19 billion in 2023, according to the company's press release, while the global aesthetics market is forecasted to reach to nearly $332 billion by 2030.

“Even though the aesthetics and wellness industry has continued to innovate a growing range of life-changing treatments, practices continue to face challenges selling treatments and services that are new and unfamiliar to patients,” Sitter, CEO of RepeatMD, says in the release. “Our goal at RepeatMD is to give these practice owners the technology to elevate their patients’ experience. Our platform serves as a med-commerce engine equipped with the same firepower as large retailers to convert sales inside and outside of practice operating hours.”

The fast-growing company, which has over 100 employees and is looking to hire 20 more according to InnovationMap data, has a client base of 2,500 med spas, dermatologists, OBGYNs, and more across all 50 states. The startup won in the Digital Solutions category at the 2023 Houston Innovation Awards, which took place earlier this month.

“Just 9 months ago Mercury provided RepeatMD’s Seed financing round. We have quickly doubled down in its Series A because of the company's massive traction, customer adoption and Phil’s leadership,” Aziz Gilani, managing director of Mercury Fund, says in the release.

In the past year, RepeatMD reports a 2,519 percent increase in Gross Merchandise Value revenue and a 130 percent increase in SaaS revenue.

“As investors in growth-stage vertical SaaS companies, we’ve closely followed the rise of platforms that not only help practitioners run their businesses, but also drive a higher ROI go-to-market motion,” Jacob Cole, principal at Full In Partners, adds. “RepeatMD stood out both for helping clinics access higher-margin, recurring revenue, and for their customer-centric mindset.”

RepeatMD will use the funding to grow its "network of strategic partners, provide further product enhancements, and integrate AI to further amplify the patient shopping experience while scaling its Inbound Revenue Platform," per the release.

4 Houston innovators to know this week

who's who

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to four local innovators across industries — from aviation to biotech — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.


Andrew Chang, managing director of United Airlines Ventures

Andrew Chang, managing director of United Airlines Ventures, joins the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo via LinkedIn

When it comes to the future of aviation — namely, making it more sustainable, a rising tide lifts all boats. Or, in this case, planes.

Andrew Chang, managing director of United Airlines Ventures, explains that working together is the key for advancing sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF. That's why United Airlines started the Sustainable Flight Fund, a $200 million initiative with support from industry leaders, including Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, Honeywell, Aramco Ventures, Bank of America, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Ventures, and several others.

"We all recognize that we may compete in our core business, but with the importance of sustainable aviation fuel and given that it's an industry that doesn't exist — you can't compete for something that doesn't exist — let's collaborate and work together to explore technologies that can directly or indirectly support the commercialization and production of sustainable aviation fuel," he says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. Read more.

Omair Tariq, founder and CEO of Cart.com

Omair Tariq's Cart.com is coming home. Photo via Cart.com

While originally founded in Houston in 2020, Cart.com has called Austin home for the past two years. Now, the scaling software company is coming home.

Cart.com, a tech company providing commerce and logistical solutions for businesses, announced today that its corporate headquarters has returned to Houston amid its rapid growth.

“I couldn’t be happier to bring Cart.com back home to Houston as we continue to revolutionize how merchants sell and fulfill products to meet customers anywhere they are,” Cart.com Founder and CEO Omair Tariq says in a news release. “The idea for Cart.com was born in Houston and we’ve always maintained a strong local presence with the majority of our executive team and board based here. As our customer mix increasingly moves upmarket and our own needs evolve, I’m confident Houston has what we need as we look towards the next stage of Cart.com’s growth story.” Read more.

Gaurab Chakrabarti and Sean Hunt, co-founders of Solugen

Gaurab Chakrabarti and Sean Hunt were originally named regional winners in this year's competition this summer along with nine other Houston entrepreneurs. Photos via solugen.com

Houston’s Gaurab Chakrabarti and Sean Hunt, the founders of the transformative chemical manufacturing company Solugen, have been named EY’s US National Award winners for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Solugen, also recently named a finalist in the 2023 Houston Innovation Awards, is an environmentally friendly approach that relies on smaller chemical refineries that helps in reducing costs and transportation-related emissions. Some of their noted accomplishments includes innovations like the proprietary reactor, dubbed the Bioforge, which is a carbon-negative molecule factory and manufacturing process produces zero wastewater or emissions compared with traditional petrochemical refineries.The Bioforge uses a chemienzymatic process in converting plant-sourced substances into essential materials that can be used instead of fossil fuels.

Chakrabarti and Hunt were originally named regional winners in this year's competition this summer along with nine other Houston entrepreneurs. Read more.

Houston startup develops tech to equip businesses with the social media skills they need to thrive

like, comment, share

Just look at any smartphone on the market and it becomes evident just how pervasive mobile apps have become, especially social media apps.

As the social networking sphere has revolutionized communication, technology has spawned multitudinous variants in the most organic way. That kind of technological momentum lends itself to why platforms like Guide App have a chance to be the next big thing in the space.

The company's CEO and co-founder, Tim Salau, tells InnovationMap that Guide is a social learning and development platform that aims to revolutionize learning experiences for creators, leaders, and organizations.

“Guide is a social learning platform for creators who are freelancers and work in the entertainment and media industry,” says Salau, Houston native and University of Texas graduate. “And they can use Guide to create and learn production skills. We pivoted in late 2019 as the pandemic hit, and we realized that Guide could be used as a B2B platform and solution for businesses to onboard and train their remote workers.

“So that's really what makes us money, and we really decided to build it because we saw that there was a huge gap in the business space of a bite-sized training platform and solution, and to do what TikTok and Reels was doing in the consumer space, but for professionals with security and privacy in mind for organizations,” he says.

With the pivot, businesses can now use Guide as a platform to onboard and train new hires for their respective companies.

“Ideally, it would be pretty much anyone within the marketing department, the product management division, or even engineers within their organizations who are creators in the sense of migrating to creative work in their own different disciplines,” says Salau. “And they could use Guide to potentially maybe create a video that's 90 seconds or less on everything a new hire needs to know within the first 90 days in the product management role or in the marketing role.”

Tapping into trends

Salau explains how he's got his ear to the ground when it comes to trends within media.

“With the way that things are moving in the entertainment and media industry and what's been happening with these strikes, I see the short-form content becoming even more important because people are not necessarily attending movie theaters at a high engagement rate,” says Salau. “Then there are multiple streaming platforms have so many gates and paywalls up, a lot of people aren't necessarily using all of these streaming platforms and seeing all of the long-form content out."

“I'm starting to see that in the next three to five years, macro content will become more important, and instead of the streaming era that we've seen in the last few years or in the last decade or so led by Netflix, I'm going to use our mock theory, we're going to start seeing a beaming era in which we're going to start seeing content being pushed to creators and consumers, that is literally tailored to what they want.”

According to Salau, platforms such as Instagram and TikTok push content based on their respective algorithms that followers don’t necessarily want to see, and that takes time away from the content they need, when they need it.

“Looking forward, it’s clear that in the sense of taking away all of the distractions that we see on these platforms, at Guide, we want to push content as it comes from the creators,” says Salau. “And for us, that focus will be on microcontent, which is content that’s 90 seconds or less.”

Data shows that the best micro content is video content that clocks in around 15 seconds.

“Content that goes up to 30 seconds is probably even cutting it a little bit too long, but the content that really goes a lot, and goes really viral on those platforms is 15 seconds,” says Salau. “And now that TikTok is becoming a more long-form entertainment platform, you're starting to see them kind of strip away from what really got them popular and buzzworthy.”

Monitoring monetization

Popularity aside, one of the major tenets of content creation is monetization.

“Getting to the point where creators will be able to monetize their content is our goal at Guide,” says Salau. “We have to build up towards that goal, but that’s the intent. We intend on having them be able to create profiles where they can actually list their merch. They can post about merch in their videos, and more importantly, get to a point where people can actually buy the entertaining content that they have.”

Once Guide reaches monetization, creators will be able to list content at the price they want it and have associated merchandise of their brand. This is a huge difference from how TikTok and Instagram and other consumer video platforms get creators paid.

“We see that it's better to actually go the other route and actually allow creators to monetize their own brand, which is what every creator often really wants,” says Salau. “That’s ideal because when a creator brings consumer brands into the picture, they have to play to what they want from an advertisement and dollars type of standpoint. So, we don't want to actually get into that world. We want to really keep everything creator oriented.”

Curating a culture of creators

At this point, Guide has about 150 creators, because they’ve been very selective with their icon program.

“We don’t believe that everyone’s a creator,” says Salau. “Because if everyone is a creator, then no one is a creator.

“And we kind of see this with a lot of the creator platforms out there. Just because anyone can create content with a smartphone doesn't mean it's content that's edifying or beneficial that people are actually enriching and learning from. So, we're really big on learning, because we see ourselves in that space.”

As Salau and team look forward with Guide, they plan on continuing to address the learning and talent development gap for remote and mobile teams. They’ll also remain focused on being the kind of platform where creators can talk about the behind-the-scenes and the process of how to make music or how to approach acting, or how to think about set production when on a set.

“With Instagram and TikTok, it’s really much more about fun and virality, and doing something that gets a reaction, versus helping people learn,” says Salau. “So, with us, the feedback we've received is, ‘I get it,’ and ‘I'm interested.’ And I want to continue learning and growing with y'all. Thank you.”