Business

DEMO: Filter Foundry helps creative professionals share work online

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Filter Platforms is one of 70 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2010 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Filter Platforms, a developer of online social marketplaces for professionals, is launching its first marketplace, Filter Foundry, to the public today at DEMO.

Based in Los Angeles, Filter Foundry targets a community of 50 million creative professionals who work in fields like advertising, design, film and photography. The company allows users to showcase portfolios, find freelance and full-time jobs, buy digital goods and take online classes, called studio sessions, from other professionals on the site.

More than 10 million digital assets including stock photos, videos and illustrations are currently available for license from 90,000 contributors on the network. Creative software companies like Autodesk also use the site to test trial versions of new products.

Both individuals and companies can join the marketplace, but Filter Foundry CEO Patrick Bradley expects that 80 percent of the site’s users will be individual artists once the site is open to the public. He said more accomplished individuals tend to use the marketplace to showcase their work or make money by teaching, while less experienced individuals often use the network as a visual resume to find jobs.

The company offers both basic and premium memberships, along with offerings tailored to corporate users. The basic membership, which is free, lets users create a limited portfolio, called a pad. They can also view the work of other artists, attend studio sessions and buy products. Premium versions start at $9.95 per month and provide users with virtual storage, product discounts and a more professional pad to showcase their work. Bradley said “a significant minority” of users will pay for premium services.

Current site users include illustrator Harald Belker, who has worked on films including Transformers, Spider-Man and Armageddon, and design firm Astro Studios, which has done work for Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft.

According to Bradley, existing competitors tend to focus on only one aspect of Filter Foundry’s network. Freelancer is a network for freelance jobs, and iStockphoto sells stock assets, to name two examples. Filter Foundry offers these services and others together on a single platform.

Founded in 2009 by veteran creative professionals, the company is self-funded and currently seeking a small first round of financing.

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