Emily Best

Founder/CEO of Seed&Spark and Film Forward, Producer, Writer, Leveraging Entertainment for Equity and Sustainability

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Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, a unique organization that accelerates the cultural impact of storytelling. Seed&Spark’s crowdfunding platform and national education program have helped thousands of bold storytellers raise tens of millions of dollars to bring to life entirely new stories, and they've built an engaged community of a half-million creators from around the world. Seed&Spark build curriculum around a curated selection of those stories and delivers them for maximum impact through Film Forward, an enterprise training platform that helps some of the world's largest brands build more innovative and accountable cultures.

An advocate for equity inclusion in the entertainment industry (and the entire working world), Best regularly speaks at conferences and events about leveraging entertainment to build equity and sustainability for everyone. She also runs workshops to help independent content creators successfully crowdfund, build an audience and pitch their projects. Best’s talks on crowdfunding, pitching, and building equitable startups have been viewed millions of times. She writes regularly about the entertainment and startup ecosystems and serves as an advisor and mentor to dozens of early-stage companies.

In addition to her work at Seed&Spark, Best produces film, series, and VR that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, and other festivals. Best produced projects including “Like the Water,” a feature film starring Caitlin FitzGerald (“Masters of Sex,” “UnREAL”); “Fck Yes!,” a digital series about sexual consent which she also co-wrote and co-directed; Janicza Bravo’s virtual reality film “Hard World for Small Things” which premiered at Sundance; and James Kaelan’s “The Visitor,” which premiered at Slamdance and was featured at Tribeca. Best was named a 2013 Indiewire Influencer, a 2014 New York Business Journal “Woman of Influence”, a 2015 Upstart 100 entrepreneur (Business Journals), received the Ivy Film Innovator Award in 2015 and in 2016, graduated from Techstars Boston, an elite accelerator program for the country’s top entrepreneurs. Best has raised millions of dollars in traditional funding, equity crowdfunding, and rewards-based crowdfunding and has personally participated in more than 300 crowdfunding campaigns.

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The Demand for Innovation [Keynote & Workshop]

Innovation is Not Magic

Storytelling for Good: Building Real Community

Building Community That Wants You To Grow

Deprogramming Implicit Bias: The Untapped Potential of Film

It's Everyone's Job: The Workplace as a Vector for Cultural Transformation

Social Capital: Currency in the Age of Participation


All Voices: Emily Best, CEO & Founder of Seed&Spark - A Mindset and Framework for Accountability
DEI Office Hours: Diversity in a Global Organization
Yahoo News: Crowdfunding film projects can help 'drive diversity in entertainment,' Seed&Spark CEO says
Masterclass on Crowdfunding and Distribution
SIFF Catalyst 2015: Emily Best - Crowdfunding to Build Independence
The Conference, Malmo: Emily Best - The Matrix Summary
WSJ: The Tech Industry's Sexism Problem
Mission & Values Podcast: Seed&Spark - Emily Best
She Does Podcast: Emily Best - You Will Find Your People


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"We recruited Emily Best to speak at the LA premiere of Katie Couric's docu-series AMERICA INSIDE OUT, and to represent the perspective of women entrepreneurs and filmmakers in the entertainment industry. We sought out Emily because many of us had her speak before, and were  impressed with both her deep knowledge of the industry and her captivating style of speaking. At this panel she stood out as both an industry leader and a passionate advocate for improvement. She was funny but warm and incredibly quick witted on a range of panel topics. Her passion for the topic and personal experience in the field made her not just an informative panelist, but a an entertaining one as well. The audience cheered and clapped multiple times after she spoke. I heard from a few audience members that they learned a lot about the independent film industry and activism, specifically from Emily. I would hire her to speak on future panels and keynotes, and readily recommend her to speak on anything within the film industry, but especially where it meets activism, inclusivity and independent arts."

Christie Marchese
Founder and CEO, Picture Motion

"Emily has the capability to deliver that unique mix of experience based knowledge and perspective bending new ways of approaching the world. She always does it in a way that connect with people emotionally (ie what Emily says stick with the audience for life)."

Martin Thornkvist
Organizer of The Conference (Malmo, Sweden)

“Emily Best is engaging, authentic, intelligent and really impressive. I loved how she connected with my attendees and facilitated a working session. She's one of the top rated speakers for my event.”

Phoebe Yates

“Emily is a star! Very workshop was very well received and she is an excellent speaker.”

Amber L Orchard
Field & Post Vancouver