From Abbey Road Red and Marathon Labs in the UK to Project Music in the US, the idea of accelerators or incubators for music/tech startups is slowly catching on. Now they’ve been joined by one of the big names in the wider world of accelerators: Techstars.
The company has launched Techstars Music, a three-month accelerator based in LA that will invest $120k in 10 music-related startups. Overseen by former Topspin and Twitter exec Bob Moczydlowsky, the accelerator has backing from major labels Sony and Warner; management firms Q Prime, BSE and SAM; Sonos and Harmonix. Its first class will begin in February 2017, with an initial applications deadline of 11 December.
The scheme is casting its net wide too, citing nine types of startups it’s keen to attract: new music experiences; creation and collaboration; marketing and e-commerce; content infrastructure; rights and royalties; data, machine learning and AI; artist discovery and curation; music education; and social platforms and games.
“Our goal is to grow the music startup ecosystem — across all categories. We have a broad definition of what makes a ‘music’ company,” tweeted Moczydlowsky last night. Techstars will take a 6% equity stake in participating startups, with the company stressing that its music partners (see above) have invested in Techstars, rather than taking direct stakes in the startups.
In a year that’s seen a number of music startups shut down, including the widely-publicised collapse of Crowdmix in the UK and Cür Media in the US, the launch of Techstars Music is welcome news. Moczydlowsky is well respected within our sector, and the new accelerator has a strong roster of partners already.