A legendary Los Angeles music manager and venture capitalist asks himself one question when deciding which companies to invest in

troy carter

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Troy Carter has helped launch the careers of musicians such as Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor.

The legendary Los Angeles music manager and venture capitalist Troy Carter spoke at Business Insider's IGNITION Conference Tuesday afternoon in New York City.

Carter, the founder and CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment and artist management company, and founding partner of venture capital firm Cross Culture VC, talked about how he decides which companies to invest in.

Carter said when he confers with his son and one of his partners, Suzy Ryoo, on this subject, they don't look for any specific characteristics. Instead, they ask themselves one question: "What does the future look like?"

Carter said his team spends time within many different types of industries. Carter maintains investments in more than 80 startups, including Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Warby Parker, and Dropbox. His team also travels the world.

"We just got back from China, and just seeing how far ahead China is on AI and some other technologies right now, and then seeing - I did Africa maybe about two months ago and seeing how we're going to see this big leapfrog ... basically, I think they have the ability to surpass America eventually as well," Carter said.

In deciding which companies to support, Carter looks for entrepreneurs who look at the potential problems of the future and are "uniquely qualified to solve them," he said.

Carter, who recently left an executive position at Spotify, helped launch the careers of musicians that include Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor. He's also the entertainment advisor for the estate of the late musician Prince.

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