Music Marketing

Techstars Music – once the gold standard for accelerators – is closing

At the height of the music tech boom, acceptance into the Bob Moczydlowsky led accelerator TechStars Music was the most sought-after stamp of approval in music tech.

But symptomatic of an overall drop in investor interest in music tech as a category, the 2023 cohort will be TechStar Music’s last.

Plus, according to Moczydlowsky, the accelerator model is outdated.

“Even though the way we have been investing has been working, it has been held back by the constraints of an accelerator, which we feel is an outdated model,” Moczydlowsky, who had previously helped found Topspin, told Billboard. “The amount of capital we can provide is limited. It is also held back by the constraints of labeling it ‘music.'”

“We want to invest in companies solving problems for music, not music tech companies, but the reality is that founders see ‘Techstars Music’ on the door and they bring us their startup to help kids learn to play a violin,” he continued. “We actually believe instruments will become irrelevant and software will mainly replace them.”

“Our thesis now is we want to fund the future of entertainment, self-expression, and live events.”

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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  2. Hey there! So, TechStars Music, which used to be THE place for music tech startups, is closing down. This is a sign of a bigger trend – investors are losing interest in music tech. The guy who led TechStars Music, Bob Moczydlowsky, explained that the accelerator model had some issues. They couldn’t provide as much capital as they wanted, and the label “music tech” was too limiting. Founders were pitching all sorts of ideas, not just music-related ones.

    Now, they’re changing their game plan. Instead of just music tech, they want to invest in companies working on entertainment, self-expression, and live events. Moczydlowsky even mentioned that he believes software could replace traditional instruments. It’s a move that reflects how technology is reshaping how we enjoy music and entertainment.

    In a nutshell, TechStars Music is closing, and they’re shifting their focus to a broader spectrum of entertainment-related startups. It’ll be interesting to see where this new direction takes them in the evolving world of music and tech. 🎵🚀

  3. This post discusses the shutdown of Techstars Music, a pioneering music/tech accelerator. While not addressed directly, AI tools like ChatGPT could someday help analyze data to identify promising music startups. However, as noted, human expertise remains irreplaceable for mentorship. An end of an era, but also an opportunity for new programs supporting innovation in music.


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