Li Jin wants to make a case for creator rights. A venture capitalist, artist, and immigrant to the U.S., Jin, 31, is the founder of Atelier Ventures, an early-stage VC startup that seeks to “advance economic opportunity and lower the barriers to entrepreneurship.” But even before founding Atelier, Jin made a name for herself by advocating for influencers and other creative entrepreneurs to receive the same workers’ rights as anyone else.
A Harvard graduate inspired by the ideologies of Karl Marx, Jin was one of the first Silicon Valley talking heads to promote the concept of creators’ rights in her industry—long before large venture capital firms began pouring their money into influencer-driven businesses. She argues that influencers should receive “universal creative income,” which would guarantee all creators a base amount of money to live on. Her Substack, which covers the passion economy, consumer trends, and analyses, has furthered her reputation as an authoritative, must-read voice in the space. As a mentor, adviser, and guru to numerous online creators, Jin has helped everyone from YouTube stars to TikTok influencers navigate deals, investments, and sponsorship opportunities. But what is perhaps most distinct about Jin is that she’s more interested in impact than dollars: Her personal imprint on the VC world can be, as she suggests, measured in influence above anything else. And that is precisely what makes Jin a great influencer herself. For more, read “Inside Substack, where authors are suddenly making serious money in the newsletter game—but it’s publish or perish.”