We had the good fortune of connecting with Anis Bennaceur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anis, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, since I was a kid. After 3 years of work experience in investment banking and in tech, I felt like I had the skillset to start my own business.
It was only when I connected with my cofounders at Mixer – one a product designer and the other one a musician – that we identified together a void in the creative space: a need to use technology and networks to connect creatives better.
The existing networks, both social and professional, weren’t designed to showcase portfolios the right way, and the heavy presence of agents, managers, and sorts of middle-men proved that technology could accelerate work connections in these industries.
One of the best ways to identify opportunities and double-down on them is to connect founders with different areas of expertise. At that point, not only can you understand better a specific problem, but you also join forces to create the best solutions together.
What should our readers know about your business?
Mixer (mixer.co) is a platform for creative talent to share their work, collaborate, build contacts within creative industries & discover job opportunities. With our expansive, curated network in the arts, fashion, music & film, we’re delivering brands & agencies highly-skilled freelance talent on demand for virtually any creative project – we’re bringing them the opportunity to hire better freelance talent, faster.
We’ve been able, over the years, to obtain members who are some of the hardest to get in the creative space, and we’ve been able to connect all these incredibly talented people for projects that transcend industries. Whenever members get back to us, telling us that a new project was born from our platform, I take a lot of pride in it.
As a founder, you face all sorts of challenges, every single day – and they’re never easy – but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that everything happens for a reason. For instance, a person that you’ve briefly met over lunch can become your next investor. I don’t necessarily try to identify opportunities in every single situation. But from the way things grow and evolve organically, you can always solve a specific problem connecting the dots between an event that happened years ago and your current roadblock.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in New York – I’ve been in Tribeca for the past 5+ years – and I’ve always had friends visiting, so being a tour guide is definitely up my alley! When it comes to restaurants, I like to take my friends to Lucien for dinner, Sant Ambroeus for lunch, 19 Cleveland, Bar Pitti during summer, Cafe Select for drinks, and BoCaphe if I’m craving good Asian food. If I want to stay in my neighborhood, Soho Diner for breakfast and Frenchette for dinner.
When it comes to hanging out, it really depends on what time of the year it is, but my favorite time of the year is when the art fairs happen – around late April and in May. The weather in the city is beautiful, the art fairs are awesome, and everyone is in town and in great spirits.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely my parents and family. Entrepreneurship is an emotional rollercoaster, and they have been a solid moral support throughout all these years, especially during the downs.