The Techstars Music accelerator has announced the cohort of startups taking part in its third year, with nine emerging music/tech firms from around the world chosen. Techstars has also announced that fitness-firm Peloton and Japanese music company Avex have joined the accelerator as backers, along with Sony Music Entertainment Japan and Sony Innovation Fund, who have joined as part of Sony Music’s existing membership.
So who are this year’s startups? The Music Fund (US) crunches data to calculate how much up-front cash to offer for a portion of an artist’s royalties, with a fund backed by external investors. SuperRes (Australia) deploys artificial intelligence tech for “next-gen audio search, analysis and processing”. Inklocker(US) focuses on on-demand printing (think t-shirts and merch) while Replica(Australia) uses AI to create virtual voice-actors for use in games and films.
Marble AR (Germany / US) is trying to blend augmented-reality tech with live-music performances; Mila (France) creates “musical educational games for a healthier and happier brain”; Rhinobird (Chile) has developed tech for watching multi-angle videos (including music); and EmbodyMe (Japan) has an app that lets you choose any YouTube video “and use your face to control the face of the person in the video in real-time – and then record and share the new video”. A ninth startup, Signal Distribution (US) is staying stealthy for now.
It’s a selection that casts its net wide, as Techstars Music likes to do, with a demo day booked for 2 May in Los Angeles for the nine startups to pitch to investors and industry figures. They’ll also be working with artist mentors including Bob Moses, Yacht, Little Boots, Brad Delson from Linkin Park and Jillionaire from Major Lazer, among 350+ other mentors in the program.