Next 10 Ventures is launching an incubator for YouTube personalities

Los Angeles-based Next 10 Ventures, a $50 million fund focused on the creator economy, is launching an incubator program to support YouTubers.

The EduCreator Incubator will seed 25 to 40 “emerging video creators” with $25,000 to $75,000 in seed funding, depending on their location, and will enroll them in a 12-month mentorship program. The only requirement is that they focus on educational video content targeting children and young adults.

“The amazing thing about being able to provide more educational content to YouTube is that children, who may be first generation from an emerging or developing country, they now have a mobile phone and they have the ability to watch content,” said Cynthia So Schroeder, Next 10’s recently hired vice president of marketing, who’s leading the incubation efforts. “Through this content, they may discover a field or a topic they haven’t had access to. Maybe they’ll discover oceanography or physics and that glimpse will … inspire them to be a future astronaut or engineer.”

So Schroeder, eBay’s former head of global community development and engagement, joins the firm’s founders: Benjamin Grubbs, YouTube’s former global director of top creator partnerships, and Paul Condolora, the former co-head of the Harry Potter franchise at Warner Bros.

All participants in the program will jointly participate in a revenue share on revenue generated from their content. Next 10 says they intend to reinvest that into a growth fund for next year’s EduCreator participants and that any equity arrangements or follow-on investments will be discussed at the end of the program.

EduCreator will provide participants with a network of other like-minded creators, programming focused on content development and format and mentorship from digital storyteller Jay Shetty, WeCreateEdu founder Jacklyn Duff and others. The goal is to help the YouTubers build sustainable and scalable online businesses.

What’s in it for Next 10? The firm’s hypothesis is that digitally savvy, mobile-first content creators are big money makers, or will be 10 years down the line — hence the fund’s name. Nearly 60 percent of GenZers, after all, cite YouTube as their preferred learning method, and the quantity of streaming video has more than doubled in the past year.

“At YouTube, I saw over 5x growth in watch time, commercialization and really, globalization of the platform,” Grubbs told TechCrunch. “I have three kids ages 9, 7 and 4 and I’ve seen it there too in how they are consuming media. Looking ahead over the next 10 years, this is going to be the way consumers are [being entertained], accessing insights and knowledge, and connecting.”

Applications to the incubator opened today and close November 17, 2018.