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Urban Development

Profile of urban subculture site Platform Network

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Damn, Tina Imm's a lucky duck. Entranced by everything hip-hop growing up, Imm, at 25, is director of operations of Platform Network Corp. (www.platform.net), a portal where all walks of the urban subculture can buy clothes, link to sites like Urban Latino (www.urbanlatino.com), get an e-mail account, download MP3s and find out who's spinning where. With offline properties in the works and a compilation CD due out this fall, she and creative director Ben White, 30, hope the Brooklyn, New York, company they started with a shared PowerBook 540c will surpass MTV in terms of its impact on youth culture.

It went like this: The suburban girl seeking her spot in the entertainment world "got tired of going to school" at Brown University and moved to Los Angeles a year shy of graduation to work for International Creative Management. (She got her diploma via mail in 1997.) Imm met White, a composer for commercials and TV series, and, in 1995, the emerging techies commenced their collaborative efforts by erecting a Web site for a friend's L.A. music publication. "We took code from existing Web sites, downloaded it and started teaching ourselves everything," says Imm. Soon, AOL and Capezio were paying them for Web development, but, by 1996, they wanted their own gig.

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