Startup Weekend Seattle Music
This past weekend I had the pleasure of having my first taste of the Startup Weekend program. I was asked to be a mentor for the weekend by Katie Chase after we had met at New Tech Seattle. I don't really know too much about small start ups, but I really love the thriving community that Seattle has, and I certainly have experience in working for a successful music tech company.
The format of a Startup Weekend is pretty straightforward:
- Individuals pitch rough ideas for startups
- Teams form around the best ideas
- Teams work all weekend to turn the ideas into prototypes, business plans, market research, etc
Startup Weekend Seattle Music was only slightly different in that each team had the goal of working toward making a music based company. Many of the participants were musicians themselves.
As mentors, we are there for whatever the team needs at the moment, given our set of skills. I ended up working with 5 teams in the end, and each team needed slightly different. Some had discovered their ideas already existed. Some had a great idea, but no way to make money from it. Others just needed to hear that I was just as excited as they were.
I heard some phenomenal ideas over the course of the weekend:
- Platforms for discovering local music
- Audio gear for recreating EDM studio effects live
- Discovery tools for getting into classical music
- Hardware for enabling bands to auto-record their band practices
- A video platform for artists to connect with fans from backstage
- An online portal for copyright management
Team Elevate were the the winners in the end, here with judge Dean Graziano. Elevate's goal was making artist promotion simpler by creating a one stop shop for indie artists and small venues to use instead of spreading themselves thin across multiple tools and means of communication.
I'm going to try to keep tabs on the various participants to see if any of their ideas come to fruition. Startup Weekend has given birth to many successful businesses and it's great to think that I may have been witness to the birth of one in the past few days.