CMA-Sponsored Project Music Startups Debut Pitches
An app that gives you personally tailored sound system quality on your phone. A fully licensed – and monetized – way to remix songs. High-tech karaoke. And video bombing – the next photo bombing?
These were a handful of the first Project Music startup ideas presented to the public Thursday at the Project Music Startup Showcase held in the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The new Country Music Association-partnered program, the first tech accelerator dedicated to music in the U.S., backed eight innovators with promising ideas.
Those chosen entered a 14-week boot camp of sorts at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to hone their ideas before Thursday’s big reveal. During that period the teams received education, encouragement, and beneficial connections from key music, technology, and startup leaders, all made possible by the partnership between the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and CMA.
“There was not a bad idea in the bunch,” CMA Board President and Warner Music Nashville President and CEO John Esposito said after watching the 10-minute presentations. “I would say that it’s very forward-thinking for the CMA to make the investment. The money invested got this thing going, but at the end of the day it wasn’t an overwhelming amount of money and we just saw potential geniuses who we are going to be reading about as they develop these ideas into million dollar companies.”
The entrepreneurial teams behind the eight ideas have already attracted more than $1.5 million in startup funding and have aggressive launch plans. The presented pitches were:
- DART – A music distribution program aimed at classical music.
- EVAMore – An app designed to connect music promoters and event planners with performers.
- IQ – An app that personally tailors improved digital device sound quality.
- Jammber – A meeting place for working musicians and the people who hire them.
- karaoQ – A full-service digital karaoke platform.
- On The List – An on demand experience upgrade program for concertgoers.
- Remix Hits – A fully licensed product that simplifies the remix process.
- VideoBomb – An editing app that allows fans to put themselves in music videos.
Esposito thought four or five of the ideas could have immediate success and felt the ones that combined a youth and social media appeal with licensing opportunities were immediately interesting to him in his capacity as a label executive.
CMA’s “purpose is to expand the base,” said Esposito. “We’ve proven over the last several years that Country Music fans are as adept, if not more, in the use of the Internet tools and smart phones. Some of the cutting edge music coming out in Country Music right now is as youthful as it gets. The ones that feel like financial opportunities are the ones I think they’re going to attract a youthful audience.”
Photos by Jonathan Jones from The Photo Jones