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Berklee hosted its second annual Venture Day, during which students from the Global Entertainment and Music Business (GEMB) graduate program presented their final projects in hopes of winning the competition.
Judged by a panel of current music industry professionals, the competition is geared toward developing a spirit of professionalism and competition; it teaches students to learn to develop a professional presentation and pitch their business idea to a panel of music industry professionals. The competition’s goal is to put students in touch with entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors who can give them feedback on their projects and help them develop their professional skills.
The competition featured seven teams of student projects featuring a wide range of potential business ideas;
• Play It Forward: a non-profit organization that seeks to bring free online music lessons to children taught by professionals in the industry such as major pop artists;
• GrandLive: a subscription-based app that would foster a community between an artist and the audience;
• FLO: an app that allows songwriters and musicians to capture creativity on the go;
• Fontline: an entertainment consulting company that would use data to create strategic plans for emerging independent artists, musicians, and intermediaries;
• Seek LC: an app that would create a scavenger hunt for music venues;
• P(l)ayBack: a catalog of unsigned artist to help them reach a wider audience and facilitate their exposure;
• Mascletá Media: a production house to promote independent artists.
Play It Forward was selected as this year’s winner. “They illustrated perfectly how powerful a social purpose for a business is,” says Emilien Moyon, program director for the Global Entertainment and Music Business graduate program, “I believe this social purpose greatly contributed to the motivation of the team members and it made a tremendous impact on the dynamic of the group. The jury members were really sensitive to the values that the project is built on.”
The Play It Forward team consisted of current GEMB graduate students Gabriel Banks, Manuel Delgado, Ankie Titulaer, Chris Wade, and Max Wright. The team won a selection of entrepreneurship books that will become useful resources as they continue forward with their new venture. The GrandLive team took the second place, and the third place went to FLO.
Moyon hopes to see these projects continue to develop once the students graduate, much like alumnus Nathan Barlow who presented at last year’s Venture Day and is about to launch his new app, EchoFM. Barlow’s app presents an innovative platform for music discovery. In the future, Moyon hopes to integrate the other graduate programs into the Venture Day competition by having students develop projects based on the innovation engendered through the Music Technology Innovation program and/or the music created by the different musicians and composers at the campus.
The panel of industry professionals consisted of Luía Egea, professor of accounting at EDEM Entrepreneur Business School and IE Business; Javier Jimenez, general director of Lanzadera and Angels Capital; Pablo Lango, director of Global International Business Development Operations for Blackboard Inc.; Oscar Hóglund, cofounder and chief executive officer for Epidemic Sound; and Lorenzo Perez, CEO for Mundoseti 2 in Live Entertainment and Live Marketing.