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Former Snap Content Head Nick Bell Joins Startup Incubator Human Ventures

Nick Bell, just months after leaving Snap as VP of content, has landed at startup-studio incubator firm Human Ventures where he’s focused on “attention economy” digital-content startups and will lead its new L.A. office.

In addition, working alongside Bell as co-managing director, Human Ventures has hired Ashlyn Gentry, formerly SVP of commercial growth and strategy at data-analytics vendor Palantir Technology in New York.

Human Ventures says it’s dedicated to building, funding and launching high-growth companies. The New York-based company recently announced a $50 million fund, which it will use to invest in new founders, outside companies, and its existing portfolio.

Heather Hartnett, Human Ventures CEO and founding partner, cited attention-economy startups as “not only a massive business opportunity, but a socially important one that, done right, could help people live better.”

“We’d be hard pressed to find two people more suited to this cause,” Hartnett wrote in a blog post announcing their hires. “Both Ashlyn and Nick have been at the forefront of how people spend their attention and the businesses built around attention.”

Snap last fall announced that Bell would be exiting at the end of 2018 after nearly five years leading content development and acquisition for the Snapchat platform. Prior to Snap, he was SVP of digital products for News Corp.

Bell sees his new gig with Human Ventures as “a massive opportunity to steer an entire industry.” He said in a statement, “It’s a rare moment in time, and there are so many brilliant, talented entrepreneurs waiting to be discovered and build future digital businesses.”

Human Ventures was formed in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Joe Marchese, who is currently head of ad sales for Fox Networks Group but is expected to depart once the Disney acquisition closes. He joined Fox in December 2014 when 21st Century Fox acquired his ad-tech company TrueX for around $200 million.

Hartnett said Bell will lead Human Ventures’ Attention operations on the West Coast, “giving our studio fresh access to top entrepreneurial talent in media and technology, as well as a new investor community.” Bell told Variety he’s been slowly ramping up with Human Ventures over past few weeks and is searching for office space now, likely to be in West L.A.

Human Ventures’ current portfolio of investments includes Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss, Reserve, Clark, Token, Picture Motion, Current, Iconery, Tycoon, Paladin and Octi.

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