Street Smart

Street Smart

This high school dropout became a serial entrepreneur, and is now forging a new path in the way we interact online

Viral videos, online shopping, social media—we can’t resist their siren call. So combining them into one fresh, streamlined platform seems like a logical and enticing step. Enter NTWRK and its founder, Aaron Levant, with his new approach to online interaction and unorthodox background for a company founder.

With the NTWRK e-tail app, consumers can watch exclusive, interactive videos featuring celebrity guests, and easily buy featured items while watching (or learn about pop-up shops they can visit in-person). Products cover gaming, music, streetwear, beauty, and beyond.

Having the right human capital inside of our company is what is going to help us achieve the vision that I have for NTWRK.

Levant, 35, brings to the venture his own unique perspective and zeal. Though he didn’t finish high school, didn’t go to college, and had no corporate experience, at just 19 years old he founded his first business, lifestyle-fashion trade show and festival Agenda. But his unusual résumé means he isn’t following anyone else’s script. “Sometimes I know so little about a subject, or traditional management, that I’m able to try things that others may not dare try,” he says.

Ten years after launching Agenda, he sold it to Reed Exhibitions but stayed on to run events, including the smashingly successful ComplexCon, which combines pop culture, music, art, food, style, sports, innovation, activism, and education. (The ComplexCon website calls it “our generation’s world fair.”)

He launched NTWRK in October 2018, with investors including Warner Bros. Digital Networks and MSA Enterprises (which brings with it partners LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger). Levant recognizes that surrounding yourself with good people is good business.

“My goal is to become a master of hiring the best people. If there is one thing I’ve learned over time, it’s that I’m never going to achieve the goals I want unless I can attract the right talent,” he says. “Having the right human capital inside of our company is what is going to help us achieve the vision that I have for NTWRK.”

Levant isn’t daunted by obstacles and is definitely one to watch. “There’s something that has always existed inside of me where I want to win at whatever I’m doing,” he says. “Having that entrepreneurial spirit and passion to win has driven me in my career.”