Boston Beat

By
Karen Bell

Ben Maitland-Lewis ’05 is passionate about serving the needs of independent artists, especially those from the Berklee community. His company, Indie Ambassador, is a music media and technology company, and their first product is Presskit.to. It’s a powerful HTML5 Web app that enables artists and companies to deliver curated and protected content as an electronic press kit (EPK) to members of the music industry.

Maitland-Lewis and company operate out of a century-old factory building they call Foundry24 in the Charlestown section of Boston. The facility also houses Strewnshank Studio, a recording studio and video production facility; a photo marketing agency called PrettyInstant.com; and an acting and production networking group called the Hollywood East Actors Group.

Before launching his latest venture, Maitland-Lewis worked for seven years at Sony BMG and spent four years running his own artist development and management company. The artists he worked with released 23 recordings and garnered multiple Boston Music Awards. He also matched brands with bands to fuel tours and new releases and he hosted the Rock Shop series of panel discussions on topics vital to indie artists.

According to the Presskit.to website, Maitland-Lewis and company dove into the tech scene in 2009 feeling that they could best help the greater music community by building apps to simplify career management.

“Our Web app is a powerful tool for individuals with multiple projects,” Maitland-Lewis says. “It allows them to consolidate their media and create digital business cards for their creative identities. We launched our beta version in September 2012. Our company is now working with more than 3,000 artists, companies, and institutions worldwide. And we’re still growing.”

According to Maitland-Lewis, his company’s products and services are built with the needs of members of the Berklee community in mind. Not surprisingly, Indie Ambassador’s current employees include fellow alumni Mike Harmon ’11, Christopher Thomas ’04, and Joe Mahoney ’10.

The team is augmented by interns and graduates from Berklee, Stevens Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and other institutions. “I’m in Boston because I have access to the smartest students in the country who are all about new, innovative products,” Maitland-Lewis says.

Over the past few years,  Indie Ambassador has worked with a number of interns. “We have an extremely successful internship and co-op program with Berklee and a few other colleges,” Maitland-Lewis says.  “We’ve worked with Berklee interns since 2007, and many have chosen to stay on after graduation to become part of the team. Mike Harmon interned here during his last semester at Berklee as an MP&E and music business/management dual major. After he graduated, he began working for us full time as our community manager.”

During his company’s beta phase, Maitland-Lewis has worked with the staff at Berklee’s Los Angeles office. The Presskit.to app has benefited both the L.A. alumni distributing their EPK to mobile devices everywhere and by enabling the L.A. staff to manage data about the alumni talent pool when handling requests from the music industry. And there is much more on the horizon for Maitland-Lewis in Boston and around the country. For additional info, visit http://presskit.to.