Troy Carter is the 42-year-old founder, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory — a talent management agency. He’s known for launching the careers of recording artists including Eve, Lady Gaga, and more recently “All About That Bass” Meghan Trainor. Carter’s climb to the top hasn’t been easy. His father left the family when he was 2. When Troy was 7, his father, who had remarried, killed his new wife’s brother. He went to jail for 12 years. Carter dropped out of West Philadelphia High School to pursue a career with his high school rap group 2 Too Many. They were signed by Will Smith’s label WilJam Records. Carter went on to work for DJ Jazzy Jeff and then met Sean “Diddy” Combs who hired Carter as an intern for his Bad Boy Records in New York City. Carter was 23.
Carter eventually moved back to Philadelphia when he managed rappers Eve and Nelly. With Julius Erving’s son, Jay Erving, he founded the talent management company Erving Wonder which they later sold to the British firm Sanctuary. When that deal fell through, Carter hit rock bottom. He lost a lot of money and his client Eve. And then he met the then-unknown Lady Gaga. In 2010 he founded Atom Factory. A year later he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for his HBO special, “Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour At Madison Square Garden [Explicit].” Since then, Carter has been investing in tons of startups including Spotify, Warby Parker, Dropbox, Uber, et al. Troy Carter will appear as a guest investor on Shark Tank on October 9, 9pm on ABC.