“We spend the fall traveling around the world looking for 10 startups solving big, giant problems for the music business and we hope that they’re solving those problems with global, scalable solutions,” says Bob Moczydlowsky, managing director of Techstars Music.
When the 10 companies join the Techstars Music accelerator program, they receive a $120,000 investment from the organization in exchange for six percent equity and typically work out of its Los Angeles headquarters leading up to the demo day culmination. (Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Techstars Music shifted to virtual work halfway through the program.)
Since Techstars Music launched its first accelerator program in 2016, its startups have amassed a total valuation nearing $350 million, the company says. Companies like Community, the Guy Oseary-backed startup that is leveraging text messaging to connect artists with their fans, and Endel, the German startup that uses artificial intelligence to create personalized soundscapes designed to help users focus and relax have both come out of past Techstar Music classes. Techstars Music’s 2017 alumnus Pippa, a podcasting analytics startup, was acquired by podcasting giant Acast, which distributes content for publications including The Guardian, BBC and BuzzFeed, last year.
“Once those companies leave our office, they go on to raise quite a bit of capital, our track record so far looks pretty great,” Moczydlowsky says. “Startups leaving our program have gone on to raise $88 million in follow-on venture funding.”
As part of the program, startups in the Techstars Music Accelerator get access to more than 300 mentors from companies including Warner Music Group, Sony, Concord, Royalty Exchange and eOne. The 10 companies chosen for the 2020 Techstars Music Accelerator have a range of focuses, including real-time analytics, machine learning, virtual reality and audio recording. Check out the preview below and head to billboard.com/techstars to request an invite if you aren’t already a Billboard Pro member.
Founded in 2018, Audigo Labs puts a professional quality recording studio into your pocket, allowing musicians, podcasters and content creators to capture, edit and share professional-quality audio.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Delta AI empowers rights holders to accurately trace the virality of intellectual property in user-generated content.
Elastic Audio aims to make audio middleware easy for digital creatives across video games, film, animation and all AR/VR use cases. Its universal audio platform builds on proprietary tech developed to address pains experienced over 13 years in the game industry, and is monetized by subscription tools.
Entertainment Intelligence wants to be the commodity exchange for the entertainment industry, helping businesses, creators and marketeers action insights using granular data. With considerable experience in music, processing over 200 million streams a day for 14,000 record labels, Ei says it will expand its benchmarking capabilities and through machine learning create scores that measure performance and value across multiple data-sets. This will then be applied to other verticals, such as television, film, sport, gaming and audiobooks.
Fanaply creates digital collectibles and fan engagement tools for music, sports and entertainment. Its digital collectibles, similar to the virtual goods sold in video games, let fans show-off and be rewarded for their fandom wherever they spend time online. These tools let these fans earn and upgrade their collectibles inside existing sports, live-event and entertainment apps by engaging in preferred user behavior onsite and at home, creating true digital engagement for these partners and their vendors, sponsors and other stakeholders.
FanSifter is a platform that helps rights holders manage fan data and grow sales of tickets, music, merch, experiences and sponsorships. The platform allows brands, promoters and artists to target ads and offers to certain audiences without sharing their data, violating the law or otherwise infringing on fan privacy.
Splashmob is a self-serve platform for creating custom, interactive, real-time second-screen experiences for concerts, live streaming, broadcast, sports and radio.
Strangeloop Studios is a new media content studio, telling stories across real-world and digital platforms. It specializes in creating virtual characters and transposing narratives across media.
Tribe is a virtual reality software platform that helps you learn and hone creative skills. Students learn by doing, from real teachers through 1-to-1, group and recorded lessons. Tribe's interactive lessons require students to mimic the actions of the teacher, learning by doing rather than simply watching training videos on Youtube or Massive open online courses.
ULO (Unidentified Landed Object)
ULO powers scalable micro experiences, turning artist and brand visions into real world immersive experiences and distributing them across a network of high access locations.
The 2020 Techstars Music Accelerator Demo Day, with presentations from all 10 startups, will be livestreamed on billboard.com/techstars for Billboard Pro users on May 5 at 1 p.m. EST.