Speakers and Finalists Announced for Rethink Music Venture Day
Rethink Music announces program details and finalists in the music business entrepreneur competition highlighting the inaugural Rethink Music Venture Day, taking place in Berlin, Germany, on October 24. Keynote speaker Thorsten Schliesche, Napster’s senior vice president and general manager Europe, and guest speakers from leading music businesses including Soundcloud, Crown Talent, Creandum, Epidemic Sound, Ampya, and UrTurn, will join delegates for the networking event designed to help entrepreneurs launch their own business in the today's music industry.
“We are excited to welcome start-ups and guests from leading international companies who will share experience on launching music business start-ups,” says Allen Bargfrede, executive director of Rethink Music for Berklee College of Music. “We are expecting over 250 delegates at Rethink Music Venture Day, which will provide a global networking forum for entrepreneurs, brands, and investors.”
The Berlin Venture Day will also provide the stage for the finale of Rethink Music’s search for the next music business entrepreneur. Selected from more than 50 entries from 17 different countries, 12 investor-ready, start-up projects from France, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S., have been selected to pitch their ventures to a panel of music executives and investors. Projects include frictionless licensing, software for music therapy, digital distribution models, and time and geo-tagging for music, among others. The winner will be awarded $10,000 in legal services through an in-kind donation from Duane Morris, LLP, enrollment in an online certificate program from Berkleeonline.com, complimentary registration for Midem 2014, as well as access to investors and capital to launch their new music start-up.
One finalist is Berklee alumnus Ben Maitland-Lewis '05. His start-up Presskit.to is a multimedia portfolio solution for strengthening communication channels between artists and industry professionals by consolidating creative content and media into a single digital deliverable. In just over a year in beta, Presskit.to is used by some of the largest labels and fine arts institutions in the world, including a specialized Opportunity Platform specific to Berklee.
“Entrepreneurship and business incubation have a positive impact on the music ecosystem. Actually, entrepreneurs in any industry need to be inventive and imaginative, but particularly in today’s evolving music industry,” explains Bruno Crolot, director of Midem and Music Markets. “We applaud all the entries we received for their creativity and imagination, combined with innovation and technology to deliver new original services to further the music industry. Selecting the winner will undoubtedly be a serious challenge.”
“Every start-up in our short-list of finalists has a tested business model and has demonstrated innovation, team-work, growth potential, and scalability. These ventures, combined with the creative and inventive entrepreneurial spirit of their ideas, have potential to be successful music businesses,” says Paris de L’etraz, director of Venture Lab, IE Business School. “The pitch process at our Venture Day promises to be hugely competitive and will be the deciding factor as to who will win the backing to launch their company.”
Designed to provide the forum—and the tools—to assist music business entrepreneurs, the Rethink Music Venture Day program includes workshops and lectures on topics ranging from raising money for start-ups, building a marketing campaign in a fractured landscape, entrepreneurship, growing and scaling your business, and navigating digital licensing. The event will take place at the nhow Music and Lifestyle Hotel in Berlin. Admission is free with registration.
Created by Berklee College of Music and Midem, Rethink Music began in 2010 and has hosted major conferences in Boston, as well as global private working group events and public workshops, including 2013 projects at Midem, Berklee’s campus in Valencia, and at Sónar in Barcelona. Centered around transforming the music industry, Rethink Music projects are designed to bring music stakeholders together to discuss business models for the future, examine copyright challenges in the digital era, and analyse technological innovation in music and its distribution with a focus on fostering positive change for the future of the music industry.