Digital platform for creative individuals

a group of people on a sidewalk: Cult Creative hopes to grow the community by being self-sustainable.

© Provided by New Straits Times
Cult Creative hopes to grow the community by being self-sustainable.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian-based startup, Cult Creative is on a mission to fully develop their disruptive professional app and platform for creatives, revolutionising the local creative industry socially and economically through innovation and technology.

The company said it is set to raise RM100,000 via a rewards crowdfunding campaign on PitchIN to expand the development of its initiative for creatives who will then be able to collaborate digitally, learn new skills and discover opportunities for growth.

Cult Creative aims to deliver a networking app and platform for creative people to explore the world of opportunities through connectivity.

Its chief executive officer and co-founder, Shermaine Wong comments said Malaysia’s unemployment rate increased to 5 percent, the highest this decade due to the pandemic.

“We wanted to find the solution for this significant gap in the market. Existing professional platforms were built from another era, but now do not properly serve the creative community, and they do not reflect the aspirations and personalities of future-focused creative professionals,” said Wong.

“We aim to redefine what it means to be creative, to defy stigmas attached to the arts, and to change deep-rooted mindsets,” she said.

Cult Creative was materialised during the turbulent early days of the Movement Control Order (MCO) with creative content published on Instagram.

From there, it garnered a following of over 12,000 followers on social media in just a few months. As they started getting traction and support from the local creative community via virtual experiences, Cult Creative then moved on to building a website and a beta professional networking web app.

The app is tailored with the creative indivduals’ future in mind: Whether someone is a designer, illustrator, filmmaker, emerging entrepreneur or an industry veteran, they will be able to unite and connect with creative individuals from all fields.

“Our vision is to fully develop a professional networking app that caters to a creative’s professional needs, so they can position themselves, showcase their portfolios, network and connect with like-minded peers to collaborate and create together, and even search for job opportunities that are actually applicable to them and their skill sets,” said Wong.

Meanwhile, Cult Creative’s co-founder and editoral director, Lina Esa, said the platform is also a portal which showcases talented Malaysian individuals and local creative businesses breaking new ground (the popular Creative Crush Wednesday and Lokal Makers features), as well as helpful resources that will inspire and enrich these talents of the future.

From the website and via the social platforms, followers are able to also sign up and tune into unique digital experiences that focus on empowering creative individuals.

“While so many physical events were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis, we thought that it was the perfect time to experiment with digital experiences and formats. We’ve carried out creative mixers, panel discussions, workshops and mentorships sessions, all online, with an incredible positive response from registrants,” said Wong.

“From our digital sessions and interviews, we’re aiming to provide content and resources to the community as ‘tools’ they can

use to upskill and expand their horizons,” she said.

Cult Creative also has a number of community projects lined up, such as a hybrid creative festival that would be first of its kind in Malaysia, projected to happen early 2021.

These resources, events and projects are free and available for the public until December 2020.

“However, early subscribers and pledgers to PitchIN will be given exclusive, early-bird price to access all these resources in 2021.

“Though currently in beta stage, Cult Creative hopes to grow the community by being self-sustainable. Through this crowdfunding campaign, we hope creatives see the value and decide to invest in themselves first rather than waiting for help from others,” said co-founder and chief marketing officer, Manisha Jagan on their current crowdfunding campaign on PitchIN.

“Creative individuals are seen by many as ‘non-essential’ but they don’t realise that so many jobs and businesses actually rely on creative professionals. The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the creative industry, however, it is showing signs of recovery in the third quarter of 2020 with a growth of 31.7 percent. With support from the community itself, we’re sure that it’s something that is truly needed. We hope to gain interest from other serious stakeholders to grow this further with a creative job portal, e-commerce plugins and much more,” she said.

“It’s got to start somewhere, and we came together to lead our community out of the pandemic and into the future as a collective,” she said.

Cult Creative is calling all creatives and supporters of the creative community to join and pledge as they continue working towards empowering creatives to build their own futures across rapidly changing industries.

The PitchIN rewards include a subscription to the platform in 2021 with access to the free professional networking app for the creative community. For early corporate or SME supporters, there are rewards to access and engage with their fast-growing community of creatives. Besides access to the platform, pledgers will receive exclusive Cult Creative merchandise which consist of their specially-designed stickers, patches and bags.

Rewards are available in multiple packages and pledgers will have their chance of purchasing from Nov 24 to Dec 24. The 6 packages offered by Cult Creative start from RM35 to RM10,000 during their PitchIN campaign.

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