MARZAN’S LATEST TRANSFORMATIVE VENTURE, AFROLIFE.TV

If you don’t know the name Alberto Marzan, you will in the very near future.  A visionary and innovative entrepreneur, Marzan’s latest transformative venture, AfroLife.TV, the only real hope for people of color to see and experience a full streaming service with content curated for them, launches on June 14, 2018.  

The genesis for this revolutionary platform began innocuously.  When Marzan’s family immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic, they settled in Davie, FL, where it was not uncommon to see KKK members riding horses down the street.  His refuge from the outside world was watching television shows, but he found it confusing when he didn’t see a lot of people who looked like him or others in his family.  However, there were a few shows that gave him a feeling of connection—shows like Diff’rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Heck, his father had a sweater just like the one that Uncle Phil wore, but what he saw on the screen was a stark contrast to the community in which he lived.  However, the theme of seeking connectivity would follow him throughout his professional career.

Marzan founded and led a few media and marketing agencies in Minneapolis-St. Paul, partnering with giants with multicultural desires such as Disney, General Mills, and Honeywell.  His tenacity and knack for bringing people together landed him the opportunity to become CEO of the International Children’s Heart Foundation, which not only led him back to the Dominican Republic, but also to directing an initiative to bring life-saving pediatric cardiology centers and physician training to the country.  He later founded the Grand Art Group and produced musical events globally featuring world-class performers.  These experiences opened his heart and inspired his vision to seek a more global way to bring people of color together - sharing culture, values, and the multiple representations of their lives.  He wanted to create a destination where these consumers could call home because people looked like them and the entertainment reflected their beliefs.  That destination manifested as AfroLife.TV. 

With the overwhelming success of films such as Black Panther, Hidden Figures, and Girls Trip, it’s clear that there is a huge group of consumers hungry to devour such content—and studios and other content providers realize it as well.  Sony signed on early to become one of AfroLife’s launch partners and Warner Bros. came with a slate of studio content and a subsidiary, Stage13, which has licensed AfroLife exclusive content.  As CEO and Founder of AfroLife.TV, Marzan emphasizes the scale of the platform, “Through the ecosystem, we’re building a destination for people to connect over content to share experiences globally.”  

Marzan sees the on-demand digital space as a blank canvas, with a plethora of opportunities to showcase the diaspora.  Concludes Marzan, "I get energized when I think about the impact our streaming service will have on the African American community and our viewing audience. Our goal is to empower, educate, and entertain our customers while providing another outlet to content creators and studios to sell and license content.”

AfroLife.TV’s launch will include digital streaming of original, classic, popular, emerging, and independent premium content.   The premiere screening of one of its original series, The Incredible Life of Darrell, will be debuted at the American Black Film Festival on June 15th at 2pm at the Betsy Hotel.

For more information, visit www.afrolife.tv.  To register for the screening, visit www.afrolife.tv/abff-reg.

 

Miles logged

Miles logged

I picked them up at the airport and started on our day full of introductory meetings. It was an interesting sight, me, 6’4 and Bill (with his cane), 6’6 or taller. The others were not as assuming as we were (and Brett had a short man’s complex). We went to Starkey, one of the world's largest hearing aid companies and headquartered in Minnesota, and US Bank before lunch. For lunch we had a closed meeting between the four of us. The bread and water came and the conversation started. Brett leaned over during one of his monologues and said, “You know,

Terminal D

I had the fortune of meeting with someone last weekend who encouraged me to write about the real challenges of starting a business in the media/entertainment industry. Let me rephrase that, starting a game changing, impactful, and global business that will bridge and connect the African diaspora around content that is relatable. No small feat to say the least. So for this post, I would like to share some of my personal travel stories and real challenges that may shed light on what entrepreneurship is really like. 

No smiling allowed

No smiling allowed

I was hired by the International Children's Heart Foundation, a global organization focused on operating on children with congenital heart disease around the world, as their President and CEO back in 2009. My immediate assignments were to fix, reorganize, and to build strategic relationships with organizations and governments around the world that would power the organization into the future. Dr. William Novick (one of the three men that I had great respect for, more to come on that in the coming weeks) and the board of directors had hired me.

It's complicated

It's complicated

The incredible importance behind this is that today content or media is an integral part of our world. If we as African Americans, Afro-Europeans, Afro-Caribbeans or Africans see ourselves on a medium that we hold at such high regards, it has tremendous effects on how we look at ourselves in the world, our brain development, and potentially our outcomes.

I fell in love with Kea

I fell in love with Kea

I was a sophomore in college in San Diego with my birthday and the Christmas holidays just around the corner in December. My family had already moved back to South Florida from San Diego to be closer to family.  Since I was already launched in college they thought it was the best time to move. We'd all enjoyed California, it gave us kids great opportunities and showed us a very different life.

No shortcuts

No shortcuts

It was November 22, 2012, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I was on top of the world, heading to the airport to catch a first class Delta flight back to Minneapolis after a business trip in Atlanta. I’d gone to ATL to meet with some investors interested in my new software company, Catena Inc., which was going to revolutionize the way refrigerated cargo was tracked and monitored while in transit. 

Entrepreneur Alberto Marzan Positions OTT Play

Entrepreneur Alberto Marzan Positions OTT Play

I’m laser focused on building a global corporation not playing entrepreneur; it’s been an interesting journey which I am built for and the company has learned how to be more and more resilient throughout this journey which in hindsight I am forever grateful for. We’ve managed to not only attract strategic relationships with the likes of Google and studios of all sizes but we’re also in the conversation as innovators in the ever changing OTT space” says Marzan.