Project Music Accelerator is unique in that it includes a full immersion in the music business, directly connecting entrepreneurs to potential stakeholders, customers and investors.
Name of Accelerator: Project Music
Location: Nashville, TN
Program Director, VP, Accelerator Programming, Nashville Entrepreneur Center: Heather McBee
This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.
In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.
The Project Music Accelerator is the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s (EC) leading action to support innovation within the music industry through startup curriculum and an immersion in the music business. To meet the unique needs of music-minded entrepreneurs building music centric businesses, the program brings music, tech and business leaders together to nurture startups desiring to grow music industry revenue.
Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.
The Project Music Accelerator is unique in that it includes a full immersion in the music business, directly connecting entrepreneurs to potential stakeholders, customers and investors. Housed at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the accelerator is a short drive from famed “Music Row” giving the startups unique access to representatives from major record labels, major publishers, leading booking agencies, artists, songwriters, PRO’s and more. The industry directly engages with the startups through panels, lectures, networking events and mentorship.
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What is the most difficult part of working with startups?
The most difficult part of working with startups is watching them leave at the end of the accelerator programs. After fourteen weeks of working side by side, the cohort becomes a family of like-minded people on a mission. We offer alumni programming and resources to help keep the family connected even after they leave the program.
What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?
The most enjoyable parts of working with startups are the intangible rewards that come with helping them see their ideas turn into reality. Its extra special with Project Music as I have an extensive background in the music business, so as the startups succeed, it helps an industry that I love too.
Tell us about your success stories; Which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?
All of the Project Music alumni are interesting and successful in their own right. Even those that fail are successes from our vantage point as they get back on their feet, take what they learned and seek the next application. Beyond that, the 2015 cohort is really starting to kick in… DART Music and Jammber continue to be forces in metadata management. Remix Hits has created a whole new untapped revenue stream for record labels and is getting their support and EVAmore has launched and raised additional funding. This year’s cohort is rocking already as well… Notetracks locked in more funding, RecordGram now has a live app and MyFansDemand is open for business during the summer touring season.
What are the three most important factors startups entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?
Make sure your reasons for participating in an accelerator can be met by the program. In the case of Project Music, we have participation requirements, even if you’re an experienced entrepreneur. This may not suit your needs. Also, consider the investment money vs. what you learn; The value of programs like Project Music is the education and access to the industry that we provide you as well as the acceleration of defining your customer and building your business model. They aren’t designed to fund you with huge sums of cash.
- The time commitment
An accelerator is like having a full-time job and going to college at the same time. It becomes your life for the 14 weeks you are in it so be honest with yourself and your family about what you are about to embark upon. The demands are high, but well worth it in the end.
- Participating Founders
Again, the demands are high in an accelerator program so ideally, you have at least one other founder that can join the journey. The workload is only one piece of where a cofounder can help. In an accelerator, you’ll hear lots of opinions from mentors, leaders and stakeholders. A second founder can help you balance and sort through the layers of feedback you’ll receive.
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What else would like you like to share?
Accelerators are bootcamps to build your business, but they ultimately test your character and resolve. A fourteen week program like Project Music will really help you understand the concept of ‘fail fast’. The good thing is that you are surrounded with a family of like-minded people to learn and grow with.
In search of an accelerator that aligns with your startup’s needs? Find My Accelerator can help!