The Linqia Story

The Startup & The Starfish

Meet Linqia, a big brand born from a humble, blue starfish. We are the heart and soul of the influencer economy, the seasoned guides of the space, and the perfect collaborative partner.

Back in the early 2000s while diving the Great Barrier Reef, our co-founder Maria Sipka first encountered the linckia starfish, a species native to Indo-Pacific waters, and was blown away by their bountiful colonies and eye-catching color. As fate would have it, in 2006, the Australian entrepreneur read The Starfish and The Spider, a book that changed her life. The authors highlight the difference between the top-down control models of most industries—the “spiders,” and proposed a new way of doing business via decentralized networks and communities—the “starfish.”

Though it would be six more years before the technology caught up to the theory, Maria knew that a sea-change was coming to the advertising ecosystem that embodied everything she believed in—a human-first industry based on our oldest values, storytelling, and emotional connection. Enter the influencer. The linckia starfish perfectly symbolizes the ideas put forth in the book and became the icon of her vision to bring consciousness and heart to marketing, to gather people around shared passions where anyone could spark a movement, and connect brands directly and authentically to those who resonate with them the most in ways never before dreamed possible.

The linckia starfish is royal blue, the rarest pigment to occur in nature. Like the creator economy, it is not ruled by a “head” but a network of autonomous arms. When the linckia population grew too large in the reef, scientists tried to cut them apart only to watch in awe as each arm regenerated a whole new organism. This is not a creature that can be controlled or contained.

If one leg wants to move, it must convince the body to follow. Online creators lead by example, driven by their own authenticity—influencing others to follow along through shared purpose, not compulsion. And as long as their center (value system) stays intact, they can not only survive, but flourish. The resiliency and resourcefulness of the linckia are the creators themselves—embracing new platforms and features, reaching untapped audiences, adapting, and thriving in an ever-changing digital ocean.

Unlike their free-swimming neighbors who come and go with the tides, the life of the linckia takes place entirely on rocks, sand, or coral. They are anchored firmly to the seafloor and are the cornerstone species of the reef. Starfish are serene. Their behavior is deliberate and discerning, methodical and on-target, and this is exactly what we offer—to create great experiences and help our clients meet their goals systematically and successfully. Starfish live in harmony with the other species in their ecosystem, prospering via symbiosis, something we embody as we establish long-term, productive partnerships and create incredible programs.

So what’s in a name? As it turns out, everything.