Entertainment firm has J.J. Abrams as principal investor

Former WME honcho John Fogelman has launched FactoryMade Ventures as an entertainment, media business development and consulting firm with J.J. Abrams as its principal investor.

Among the company’s major areas of focus will be growth opportunities in the U.S. Hispanic market as well as Latin America through a partnership with telco giant Telefonica.

Abrams, a longtime Fogelman client, is already developing Factory?Made projects along with Michael Bay, Robert Rodriguez, Thom Beers and Whoopi Goldberg. The goal is to develop original shortform programming plus interactive viewing and gaming experiences as well as to launch TV outlets in the U.S. and emerging markets including Brazil, Peru and Colombia.

The company is based adjacent to the Santa Monica HQ of Abrams’ Bad Robot banner.

In addition to Madrid-based Telefonica, FactoryMade clients include Hasbro, RTL Group and Intel.

“We recognize the characteristics of the constantly changing media landscape that continue to shift our view of entertainment,” said Fogelman, who is CEO. “We welcome the industry’s most imaginative and inventive minds to strategize new ventures with us and build them into fully fledged media businesses.”

Fogelman joined WMA in 1994 and rose to become worldwide head and exec VP of the motion picture department in 2004. He was also on the board at WMA when that tenpercentery merged with Endeavor in 2009.

Tuesday’s announcement also noted that FactoryMade will continue its long-standing relationship with Hasbro that began at WMA between Fogelman and Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner, which helped lead to the “Transformers” and “G.I Joe” film franchises as well as to the launch of the Hub cable channel in partnership with Discovery Communications.

In addition, the former Strategic Planning & Business Development unit at WME will join FactoryMade. That unit has also been known as “the Skunkworks” — a name first used by Lockheed’s secret aerospace development program.

That team will continue to be headed by former WME department head Cristina Patwa as the president of FactoryMade. Patwa will be joined by former WME colleagues Aden Ikram as head of business development along with Dawn Holliday-Mack and Douglas Gardner of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, while WME talent agent Troy Zien will separately aid Fogelman in personal producing efforts.

Abrams said he was eager to say in business with the rep he’s worked with since 2006.

“I was immediately struck by his ability to identify creative opportunities and his determination and skill to actually realize them,” Abrams said. “I felt strongly about continuing to work with John, and this was a chance to support his latest ambitious enterprise, just as he has supported me over the years.”

Company said Abrams’ producing partner Bryan Burk will play an active role in the new company. David Lonner of Oasis Media Group will continue as Abrams’ manager.

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