A standing room only crowd of music enthusiasts gathered on Thursday night at BMI’s Music City headquarters to hear eight entrepreneurs pitch their start-ups as the curtain came down on the fifth edition of “Project Music.”
Organized by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the year-round initiative is focused on bringing music, tech and business leaders together to nurture start-ups desiring to grow music industry revenue. “Project Music” was developed in partnership with the Country Music Association.
Thursday’s event was also the first public speaking opportunity for Jane Allen, the Center’s new Chief Executive Officer, who was on her fourth day leading the organization. As noted in this brief announcement we posted earlier this month, Allen is an attorney who founded two companies – Counsel on Call and Hanner Clarke.
“I understand hard work (of entrepreneurs),” she told the attendees and, in particular, those that would be pitching. “I admire and respect you.”
Seven of the pitches were made by teams that were in the graduating fifth cohort, with the eighth presentation coming from Chad Marcum of VideoBomb, a participant in the inaugural cohort in 2015. As described on CrunchBase, the start-up that was also founded in 2015 “does for video what the PhotoBomb did for still photography. It makes the static video experience interactive.”
Stephen Linn, “Project Music’s” Entrepreneur-in-Residence, told attendees that 39 start-ups had participated in the five cohorts, and four of the five had raised more than $5 million each. The teams pitching on Thursday had raised more than $15 million.
Recruitment is now underway for the next cohort. Deadline to apply is January 24, and here’s the link to do so.
The companies in the latest cohort that pitched Thursday night were:
- audiobridge from Southern California that was described as a music platform enabling users to make professional recordings using their mobile device.
- ArtistWorks, also from California, that provides online music instruction that is not only affordable but also draws on three dozen world-renowned master musicians as teachers.
- Beatdapp from Vancouver provides a service to authenticate and validate song play counts for digital service providers, finding as much as 15 percent in missing royalties.
- FanFlex, another California-based start-up, supports music venues by providing a tool for them to upload their concert calendars and availability dates so that performers can see times that they might book. This allows artists to book their own shows and get paid directly by their fans.
- Hear Not There, based in Nashville, is a software platform focused on helping musicians generate additional revenues by selling tickets to a live, high-quality audio stream. The tagline reads: “From the soundboard to your phone to your fans at home.”
- Music Tech Works is creating a system to make the process of licensing popular music for television, film and video games less time consuming, frustrating and expensive.
- Secret Chord Laboratories had without a doubt the most innovative presentation. It uses insights from neuroscience to better understand the mechanisms behind music preference formation.