While startup incubators and accelerators have proven to be successful tech company launchpads , their involvement music has been limited. Only Nashville's Project Music and the UK's Abbey Road have been sustained efforts. This week, the most high music incubator to date, TechStars Music, announced its inaugural class.
Techstars Music has named 11 startups to its inaugural accelerator class. Amper, Hurdl, JAAK, Pacemaker, Pippa, Popgun, Robin, Shimmur, Superpowered, SyncSpot, and Weav will each receive $120,000 along with ongoing mentorship and a 3 month intensive program held at Techstars LA headquarters in exchange for 6% equity.
Techstars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator with programs covering many sectors. As of mid-2016, Techstars had accepted over 800 companies into its program; and collectively, these companies had raised over $2.3 billion. Fewer than 1% of the companies that apply to Techstars are accepted.
Former Twitter Music and Topsin executive Bob "Moz" Moczydlowsky founded and leads the Techstars Music program. Investors and mentors include Techstars Ventures, Backstage Capital, Foundry Group and Union Square Ventures. Two artists in residence, Bob Moses and D∆WN aka Dawn Richard, will also be working with the 11 startups.
"We genuinely believe these are the most promising startups in music," states Moz. "We can’t wait to see what they can do now that we have them all in one art-filled and sun-drenched room here in LA, where they will work with hundreds of independent mentors from all facets of the music business and technology, as well as our two artists-in-residence.
“We are thrilled and extremely grateful to be selected by Techstars as one to watch in the music startup space,” said Zach Shunk, Hurdl co-founder and CTO/COO. “Relocating the team to L.A.’s incredible tech scene opens up a world of opportunities for our business development and customer basis, where we proudly represent Hurdl’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
More on each startup:
Amper - New York City, NY
Amper is an artificial intelligence composer, performer, and producer that empowers you to instantly create and customize original music for your content.
Founders: Drew Silverstein (CEO), Sam Estes (Founder), Michael Hobe (Founder)
Hurdl - Nashville, TN
Hurdl increases fan engagement and revenue at live events with a unique LED wearable that allows artists, teams and event planners a new 1:1 communication network with both the known and unknown ticket holder.
Founders: Betsy McHugh (CEO), Zach Shunk (CTO)
JAAK - London, United Kingdom
JAAK uses blockchain tech to connect music, metadata and rights information. Our goal is to create a real-time metadata network and a standardized framework for low-cost licensing.
Founders: Vaughn McKenzie (CEO), Fred Tibbles (Chief Developer), Viktor Tron (Architect)
Pacemaker - Stockholm, Sweden
Pacemaker provides a simple and portable mixtape creation and social consumption experience on top of streamed music, powered by the proprietary file format the Recipe and AI DJ technology.
Founders: Jonas Norberg (CEO), Daniel Wallner (CTO), Olof Berglof (CMO)
Pippa - New York City, NY
Pippa makes podcasting simpler, smarter, and more profitable by enabling targeted ads to be delivered dynamically to listeners.
Founders: Simon Marcus (CEO), Erwan Jegouzo (CTO)
Popgun - Brisbane, Australia
Popgun is using deep learning to make original pop music. Today we are teaching computers to sing. Tomorrow we plan to produce a top 40 hit record. Popgun aims to be the best music AI company in the world.
Founders: Stephen Phillips (CEO), Adam Hibble (CTO)
Robin - Toronto, Canada
Robin is a personal concierge for concerts and live events. Robin reserves and secures tickets on behalf of fans while providing real-time demand data to artists and event organizers.
Founders: Adam McIsaac (CEO), Cam Gorrie (CTO), Dave Levin (COO)
Shimmur - Los Angeles, CA & New York City, NY
Shimmur is a social platform that makes it easy for artists and influencers to have quality interactions with fans. Shimmur flips how social apps usually work; on Shimmur, tribes of fans work together to create content and artists and influencers react and comment.
Founders: Matthew Peltier (CEO), Charlie Buffin (COO), Max Levine (CSO)
Superpowered - Austin, TX & Budapest, Hungary
Superpowered provides real-time, low-latency audio infrastructure for games, VR, music and interactive audio applications on mobile and wearable devices.
Founders: Patrick Vlaskovits (CEO), Gabor Szanto (CTO)
SyncSpot - Los Angeles, CA
SyncSpot uses an AI assistant to create and fulfill free-gift media rewards for in-store promotions. Example: Buy product X, get a free music subscription.
Founders: Jubair Jalil (CEO), Mohammed Jalil (CTO)
Weav - New York City, NY & London, United Kingdom
Weav makes adaptive music via an artist remix console, and will be the supplier of bio-metric-driven music to workout apps, dance studios, exercise equipment manufacturers and action sports products.
Founders: Elomida Visviki (CEO), Lars Rasmussen