IP licensing is the fastest growing field in the content industry. Think about all the remakes, the cross-platform franchises, and the merchandising businesses. Yet despite its growth rate and the opportunities it holds, often there’s more talk than action in this field.
Our panel is designed to cut through the haze. The speakers will offer actionable insights into the theory, practice, and business of IP licensing and building new story universes.
Charles Lei, founder and CEO of Thunder Communications International (TCI), brings more than two decades of entertainment industry experience to the conversation. He’s a seasoned entrepreneurial executive, having successfully structured, negotiated, and executed business strategies for major US studios including Fox, Disney, and NBC Universal. He’s also a feature film and TV programming producer, specializing in international co-productions with China.
Sarah Penna is the former Head of Awestruck: a network and lifestyle brand focused on millennial moms, launched in 2015. She was responsible for creating and launching the division, identifying talent to sign to the multi-channel network, and collaborating on programming for various platforms including YouTube, FB, and Go90. Under her supervision, the MCN reached over 60 million monthly views. Before Awestruck, Sarah was the Co-Founder of Big Frame, the first digital-only talent management firm. She helped to establish Big Frame as an industry leader, signing 300 talent with a combined 70+ million YouTube subscribers and 200+ million total social media reach. Big Frame was dubbed “CAA for the digital set” and was acquired by AwesomenessTV in April 2014. Sarah is now in the process of starting a new digital media company.
The session will be followed by a discussion on the topic of SheTech headed by our friend and Storytek mentor Laura Anne Edwards. Laura is an expert in innovative content strategies. She has a particular interest and focus on forming ecosystems through educational outreach and global partnerships. Laura is a TED resident and has previously worked with Google Labs and the NASA Datanaut program. She’ll be joined by Marjo Kukkonen, Sarah Penna and Kathleen Cohen.
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