NFT, short for non-fungible token, has become an elusive buzzword in the midst of the rising world of the metaverse, blockchain, and all things considered “web3.” Tim Nielsen and his company Cloutchain want to make NFTs accessible for everyone by creating a platform for both fans and creators to engage using NFTs to drive the connection. Nielsen is growing his company in the Master of Business Creation (MBC) program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
“We didn’t design Cloutchain around one specific type of creator. We really wanted this to be accessible to bring this really cool technology that we saw potential in to as many people as possible,” said Nielsen on who he sees using this platform.
On the Cloutchain platform, creators can easily design cards that are backed by NFTs that are unique to each creator, memorializing important achievements, moments, art pieces, and more. Fans can then purchase these cards, unlocking access to content both online and in-person. Cloutchain allows creators to gain more control over the business aspect of their image, content, and career and allows fans to more easily connect with their favorite creators, musicians, and athletes.
Nielsen started this company due to his personal experience and interest in economics, finance, and blockchain. He wanted to start a business that would make this emerging technology accessible and interesting to everyone. The world of NFTs can be an insiders club where newcomers can easily be taken advantage of, and in many cases, there exists a lack of community engagement. Cloutchain provides a solution through an easy-to-use, fan-engagement platform, where creators and fans don’t need any technical knowledge to successfully enter the world of NFTs. Nielsen made his company a “turnkey solution to take fan clubs into the modern generation.”
Cloutchain’s model has been made even more relevant by two important catalysts: the cancelling of live music events due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the release of new NCAA rules allowing athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. Due to the cancellation of live music, people who relied on ticket sales, merchandise, meet and greets, etc. for their income were heavily impacted. Nielsen reached out and was able connect with some of these artists to help them monetize and reward their following despite the pandemic. Additionally, because college athletes are now allowed to make money from their own image, Cloutchain has provided a way for fans to directly support players, and in turn, receive exclusive engagement from their favorite players.
The MBC is a nine-month program focused on helping founders grow their companies with support from mentorship, workshops, courses, grants and scholarships. It is provided by the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Eccles School of Business with support from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
Nielsen joined the MBC program because he liked how it combines a startup accelerator with an academic degree. He believes that the MBC is fulfilling a need that an MBA just can’t. “The skillset and mentality for a startup is much different than for established companies,” he said. According to Nielsen, the fast-paced nature of the MBC allows an entrepreneur to access the guidance and mentorship needed to successfully complete all of the different roles that a founder must embody.
Nielsen believes that as the space grows, people will begin to care more about their online purchases and access than their real-world access. This means that the quality, utility, and assurances that Cloutchain provides, which other NFTs may not, will increase in value as trust becomes more important in purchasing and ownership. What makes Cloutchain’s approach to NFTs unique is that once people buy Cloutchain NFT from a creator, the platform automatically treats it like a key that unlocks certain content. The NFT holder owns this key and can be reuse, trade, or sell it in the future. Looking forward, Nielsen wants to scale Cloutchain to stay at the forefront of the NFT space. Their primary online marketplace and NFT-driven smart content feed is currently live.
Learn more about Cloutchain at cloutchain.io.