Berklee Today

Students and Alumni Host Music Business Expo

  Paul Simon
  From the left: Berklee alumni and MINT founders Joe Merante and Tyler Grill

On Wednesday, April 5, the Berklee Entrepreneurial Action Team (BEAT) and MINT (Music Industry Network) cohosted the first BEAT Business Expo at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston to showcase local businesses that have built themselves from the ground up. BEAT was founded by a group of Berklee students hoping to serve as a resource for other students, faculty, and alumni who are making their way in the business world. Codirectors Jared Braverman and Theodore Cox, working with faculty adviser Martin Dennehy and 10 hard-working Berklee students, put the BEAT Business Expo together to provide opportunities for networking and relationship building in an effort to promote education for the next generation of businessmen and women.

Working with Berklee alumni, MINT founders Joe Merante and Tyler Grill hope to inspire Berklee students who are planning to start their own businesses. The stated goal of MINT is to create a membership-based community of music-industry professionals who can develop and further their music careers and businesses. Through MINT events, peer-to-peer networking, and career development resources, members will receive the benefits of the group's music-industry expertise.

Sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, the BEAT Business Expo highlighted local businesses Newbury Comics, Tweeter, Zildjian, Nimbit, Sonicbids, Ace Ticket, FIRE+ICE, After Midnight Productions, BBB Law firm, and MINT. Each company donated its time to provide information and mentoring to the prospective entrepreneurs.

In addition to the businesses represented at the expo, Berklee students Alex Tava and Sarah DeMatto came to raise awareness about their humanitarian organizations. Alex Tava, a cancer survivor, is the founder of Tava Hope Scholarship fund that will award one Berklee student with scholarship monies generated through benefit concerts for cancer survivors. Student Sarah DeMatto was representing Swazi Aid, a student-run, nonprofit fundraising organization that is dedicated to the children of Swaziland, Africa. The group held its first AIDS Awareness Concert on May 4 at All Asia Cafe in Cambridge.

The Berklee community gave a postive response to this first business expo. "I felt inspired by the number of Boston-based businesses willing to lend a helping hand to future entrepreneurs by giving hints on how to survive in the industry today," said Berklee student Ashley Gallardi. The BEAT team is hoping to hold the expo annually and host other events as well. One of the ideas being discussed is a student-run concert series.

The organizers at BEAT and MINT express their gratitude to the sponsoring companies for their help in making the event a success. With the support of local businesses and the Berklee community, the hope is that BEAT will assist future business entrepreneurs as they make their way in the music industry.

-Stacey Read and Lisa Testa