By Roya Soleimani Winner, Sunstone Staff Writer
If you’re a brand or film studio doing a video shoot on location, the process of sourcing local talent can be both tough and expensive. Even in Atlanta, GA, which is one of the largest business production hubs in the world, Productions.com founder and CEO Carolyn Pitt continually heard from friends and clients alike that they were struggling to find projects.
After doing extensive research, attending industry meetings, and drawing on her own background, she identified the challenge: no matter the production hub or area, there were challenges in equity, parity, diversity, and a clear gap in utilizing technology. Carolyn knew there had to be a solution that could connect brands and studios with vetted local production talent – creating a mutually beneficial marketplace and experience. So she built it.
Carolyn has taken Productions.com from being a “twinkle in her eye” in 2018, to building a company that now serves Fortune 500 companies, brands, and organizations across more than 30 countries. She continues to look to improve, and just completed the course at the Long Beach Accelerator as part of Cohort 6.
Carolyn shared that “we use proprietary technology through an AI-enabled marketplace that connects local crews to the brands that need them in an environment that is efficient, trustworthy, equitable and profitable for everyone.”
She also created a vetting process to be sure the people she sent out on jobs had the proper qualifications.
Her diverse background of working as an attorney in IP (intellectual property) and entertainment law, management consulting, business development, and C-suite talent placement helps her think strategically and identify solutions as a founder and CEO.
Productions.com first started “locally in Atlanta with film and TV crews, and has now expanded to working with corporate brands, producing live events, working with ad agencies, and even with production companies looking for full-time talent for their teams.
“As a company, we are intentional to provide opportunity and access to production work to those who are underserved, especially women, people of color, those who are disabled, Veterans, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Carolyn said.
Productions.com is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, and this has led to a remarkable new benchmark: Production.com teams are 2x more diverse than industry averages for a production crew.
“For large brands, this means expanding their talent pool and outcomes, and for the crew, it’s finding meaningful work in their own communities. (We are) saving money and time by connecting both sides,” Carolyn added.
The industry Carolyn works in has also weathered many storms, and her company has been a steady source of projects and income for talent and brands throughout both the pandemic and the recent strikes.
Carolyn is part of the Long Beach Accelerator’s most recent cohort, and shared that the “programming has been incredibly insightful and the subject matter experts are sharing and adding insights that most of us haven’t gotten before. They’ve been so available to us all.”
She added that, “as a woman of color of African descent, I appreciate the support and advocacy, especially for founders who are underrepresented, that this program provides, and the collaboration with fellow founders is unique and will continue to be.”
Sunstone Management, Inc., is the capital partner for the LBA.
As she looks to the future, Carolyn said she is excited to continue to work with more brands, build partnerships with major studios, and crews — “The momentum is exciting and the engagement from both sides of our marketplace is everything I hoped it would be and more. We are actualizing what we envisioned back in 2018.”
To learn more, visit Productions.com.
Note: We refer to early-stage technology entrepreneurs as Founders. The information provided here is to inform about the types of small business start-ups that have been selected for participation in certain programs in which Sunstone participates. The information provided here is aspirational and there is no assurance of success. Early-stage investing comes with an inherently high degree of risk, including the loss of some or all of an investment. The information provided is neither an offer to sell or an inducement to offer to buy interests in any Sunstone sponsored fund that may have invested in the Founder.
About Long Beach Accelerator
The Long Beach Accelerator provides early-stage tech startups with the resources and runway they need to flourish. The LBA has a current application cycle open for Cohort 7. The LBA is a public-private partnership between the city of Long Beach, Sunstone Management, and CSULB and has been named one of Southern California’s top tech accelerators by dot.LA.
About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital management firm with headquarters in Southern California that provides a range of early-stage venture capital, real estate, and fixed income funds to qualified and accredited investors. The firm delivers new and exciting options for economic growth through innovative public-private partnerships, making use of its unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.
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