Israeli model and TV host Shlomit Malka is helping creators conduct business together while also focusing on their creative vision with her new startup Happ Network.
Malka, who was interviewed by Guy Franklin, founder of Israeli Mapped Ventures, explained that she's worked as a creative professional for the past decade, but after years in front of the camera she became curious about the behind the scenes processes that bring creative visions to life.
"It happened about like three years ago when COVID hit. COVID was a big hit for all of us, but especially for creative professionals who most of our work is creative collaborations," said Malka.
The model explained that creative professionals had to find ways to conduct their daily business remotely and had to expand beyond their creative roles to the business side of matters.
"What we call the creative economy is actually a massive phenomena of creatives moving from being artists to being founders and business owners," added Malka. "The problem of artists becoming business owners is that we're very familiar with our own craft and being creative. But we don't have enough tools, or knowledge about the business side. What does it mean to be a business owner? What does it mean to build a business plan, to conduct business operations, to collaborate with other people, to manage budget payments? All of a sudden, it's a new operation that requires a new set of skills from us."
Malka noted that most of these creative businesses are collaborative, meaning that while they may be small businesses, they need to work with other people and businesses and coordinate different budgets, locations, conditions and teams for each project.
A hub for businesses to conduct the creative process
Happ Network aims to provide a hub for these businesses to conduct the creative process, while also taking care of the financial aspect of the projects.
"We're creating the space, the one central hub, the space in which these teams and businesses can now operate, integrating end to end the creative process from start to finish," said Malka. "So now they have a space in the workspace where they can communicate, where they can manage their budgets and payments and everything in one place."
"Within this infrastructure, we give them tools for the backend to manage your creative collaborations, and all the W9 payments, taxes, invoices, everything that creators really hate dealing with," added Malka. "On the other end, we're actually building an ecosystem or professional network between these like-minded businesses and professionals to collaborate on a bigger scale."
Malka added that her experience as a model helped prepare her for her new venture.
"One interesting position being a model is I've always had this understanding of the delicate relationship between the creative side and the business side, because creativity does need a healthy amount of chaos," said Malka. "Creativity needs chaos, to bring ideas into life. On the other hand, the business needs structure, and boundaries to execute."
Malka additionally noted that she learnt about discipline, working alone, travelling the world, and being adaptive to different circumstances, conditions, cultures, people and creative processes around the world from her time as a model as well.
"The core desire for us as a creative team and as creators is really to guide creators' stories, their success on the business side while still staying focused on their creative vision," said Malka. "I imagine Happ becoming the environment or the ecosystem in which for creative teams, it's their home for creativity, they know that they can bring their ideas into fruition. They have the tools and exactly the tools that they need and exactly the conditions that makes their success inevitable. So I see creative people connecting around the world, collaborating together, thriving professionally and growing and influencing each other in a symbiotic relationship."