MarketInk: Social Media Startup Koji Launches “Audition” Talent App

Dmitry Shapiro and Sean Thielen
Dmitry Shapiro (left) and Sean Thielen of Koji.

San Diego startup Koji, an app provider for creators and influencers on TikTok, Instagram, Twitch and other social media platforms, has launched “Audition”, a new app designed to help creators connect with candidates and find talent for their latest projects. The new app is free and available on the Koji App Store.

Whether it’s finding musicians for new tracks, recruiting talent for a movie, or finding the next vocal sensation, creators can set the stage for their auditions by customizing the Audition app to suit their needs. creative, the company said.

Within the app, creators can upload a cover video, create a title, write a description of their project, and upload zip files for applicants to review. Creators can also add a message telling people what to expect after submitting an audition.

Additionally, candidates can save and upload their video or audio recordings to the Audition app, as well as provide their contact details.

“Brands and creators are increasingly converting fans into collaborators by involving their audiences in creating content,” Koji co-founder Sean Thielen said in an email to The Times of San Diego. “Audition, a new Koji Link in the Bio app, facilitates this in a powerful and frictionless way by giving creators the ability to invite their audience with a ‘casting call’ and easily review user submissions. .”

Founded in 2021, Koji has raised $36 million in venture capital. The most recent funding was $20 million in Series B funding announced earlier this year.

Intesa Communications Adds Summer Bales as Account Manager

Intesa Communications Group, a strategic communications and government relations company based in San Diego, has hired Summer Yousif Bales as an account manager within its government relations team.

summer balls

Previously, Bales served as a policy coordinator for two years at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she worked on veterans and military family policy issues, cannabis industry growth, and educational efforts. for small business capital opportunities. She was also an immigration intern in 2018 and 2019 with the International Rescue Committee.

Bales graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science and a master’s degree from UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. At UCSD, she was a part-time teaching assistant for the course “Culture and Society in International Perspective” and was a graduate student researcher on “How Civil Wars Begin,” a book about nationalism, conflict ethnicity and democratization.

Bales is currently a member of the San Diego Leadership Alliance, a group that helps emerging progressive leaders cultivate the skills and connections they need to bring change to the San Diego area.

“Summer brings incredible drive, intelligence and work ethic to everything she touches,” said Maddy Kilkenny, Partner at Intesa. “She’s already started with many of the North County businesses we’re so proud to partner with, from universities and real estate developers to hoteliers and nonprofits.”

McCullough Landscape selects Melanie Loria as marketing agent

McCullough Landscape Architecture of San Diego has appointed Melanie Loria as its new Marketing and Business Development Manager.

A company statement says Loria has a passion for creative design, project storytelling and connecting with the community. His experience includes business development, rebranding, website design and management, social media strategy and execution, media design, proposal writing and design, award nominations and training of junior members of the marketing team.

“Melanie brings a rare combination of experienced leadership and fresh energy to her work,” said Catherine McCullough, president and CEO of McCullough Landscape Architecture. “Our office dynamics have already been greatly enhanced by having Melanie on our team.”

Previously, Loria spent the past year as Marketing Manager at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego. She also worked as a marketing specialist in the San Diego office of Gensler, a design and architecture firm.

In Boston, she worked as a senior marketing coordinator at J. Calnan & Associates, Inc., a construction management firm, and at Sasaki, a design firm specializing in architecture, interior design, urban design, spatial planning, landscape architecture, ecology and public works.

Originally from the East Coast, Loria earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She also studied International Marketing at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain and Fashion Merchandising and Communication at the University of Rhode Island.

She is a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, a networking organization for marketing and business development professionals working in the architecture, engineering and construction industries.

Local Media San Diego Radio Presents BeerX Festival

Local Media San Diego, operator of four radio stations in San Diego, will present BeerX, a craft beer and music festival, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, at Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway.

The festival will feature 100 craft beers from over 50 local and regional breweries, as well as live music from artists such as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Chicano Batman, Pachyman, Smoke & Mirrors Sound System and Los Tortugas.

Unlimited craft beer tasting will take place from 2-4 p.m. Bar service and food from local restaurants will be available until 9:45 p.m.

Tickets start at $60 per person for general admission. A VIP admission package, costing $150 per person, includes early entry at 1 p.m., private restrooms, and front row seats to concerts. All participants must be at least 21 years old. For more information, visit

Rick Griffin is a public relations and marketing consultant based in San Diego. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in the Times of San Diego.

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