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Tips for music/tech startups from accelerators and incubators


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Startup accelerators and incubators are a familiar part of the technology industry, working with emerging startups to help them build their products and services, and refine their pitches to investors and customers/users alike.

One of the positive trends in recent years has been the emergence of dedicated music-tech accelerators and incubators, backed by labels and other music companies, keen to support innovative new startups.

In the US, the well-regarded Techstars network has been running a music accelerator since 2017, but the UK has its own equivalents too: Abbey Road Red, launched in 2015 by London’s famous Abbey Road Studios, and Marathon Artists Labs, set up in 2016 by independent label Marathon Artists.

In this video, Abbey Road managing director Isabel Garvey and Marathon Artists chairman Paul-René Albertini explain how their programmes work; why they think it’s important for the music industry to have open arms to tech innovators; and offer some advice to startups wanting to work with the industry.

“Building a business is all about taking in a lot of different opinions on how to develop or how to connect your product to the market and the good founders can filter that and find their way through it and some just don’t want to listen, and that can be really destructive for the business.” says Garvey.

Albertini gives the same advice to startups that he gives to artists. “Do you want to change the world? You want to make your thing, your ideas and your gut, talk to the rest of the planet? Go for it, but get ready: it’s a long journey. Same as an artist!”

You can watch the full Accelerators and Incubators video above. It’s part of a series of The Music & Tech Springboard videos created by the BPI and Music Ally, with other episodes listed below.

Note: this project has been a few months in the making, and the interviews were conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic. Some references (for example to meeting people / going to conferences) may jar, but we’re looking forward to a time when they’re relevant again!

In the meantime, if there are any areas that, as a startup, you may feel have not been addressed, please email springboard@bpi.co.uk with your suggestions. We will collate and publish a FAQ document to accompany the series later in the year.

bpi music ally springboard

Introduction
BPI CEO Geoff Taylor and Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley introduce the Springboard series and offer some tips for startups.

Labels
Universal Music’s Glenn Cooper, Sony Music’s Victoria Cruz, PIAS’ Adrian Pope, and Warner Music’s Scott Cohen offer startups advice from their label perspectives.

Legal
Law firm Reed Smith partners Gregor Pryor and Sophie Goossens talk through some of the legal issues that music startups can face – and how to tackle them.

Licensing
PPL’s chief licensing officer Jez Bell and PRS for Music head of online Nick Edwards explain the help available for startups seeking music licensing deals.

Advisors
Eleven Advisory managing director Cliff Fluet and independent consultant Becky Brook offer lessons learned from their work connecting startups and music rightsholders.

Media
Music Ally’s editor Stuart Dredge talks about how he finds and writes about music-tech startups, and offers thoughts on how they can best deal with journalists.

Startups
Startups explain what they’ve learned from working with the music industry, including Jaak’s Vaughn McKenzie-Landell, MelodyVR’s Jo McNally, Landmrk’s Tom Nield, and ClicknClear’s Chantal Epp.

Also, if you’re a music-related tech startup that’s less than five years old or with fewer than 20 employees, we want to help you with practical steps. As such we are offering you the following:

– A free BPI membership for 2020 – giving startups access to all of BPI’s resources – from market intelligence, to free training courses and free access to networking events. Click here to find out more.

– A six-month free subscription to Music Ally’s business information service, including a daily news bulletin and regular research reports. Request your free subscription here!

Want to know more about the Music & Tech Springboard Programme? Contact the BPI here.

Music Ally

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