Creating a startup company or deploying a successful app in the digital music space can be daunting. There is a complex web of rights and legal requirements, and a seemingly infinite number of players. These obstacles may seem insurmountable, especially to a bootstrapped young company.

Several years ago, the Music Business Association recognized this information gap and created the Music Startup Academy.  The event’s coursework was designed to provide an educational platform on the key topics of licensing, business development and technology to entrepreneurs at all levels.

Kicking off in April 2011 at NYC’s General Assembly, the Music Startup Academy has traveled to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Francisco. Click here to see if we are planning an event in a city near you.

The Classes

The core curriculum of the Music Startup Academy centers around three classes that teach the key fundamentals that are critical to any music entrepreneur or exec at all levels of experience:

  • Label and Publishing Basics
    Explains the economics of the music industry, including the licenses required for master recordings and songwriting.
  • Business Development
    The “dos and don’ts” of content licensing, including best practices for honing a pitch, and insight into navigating around roadblocks.
  • Basic Technical Operations
    An overview of the music operations and various enterprise software systems and core procedures that any aspiring CEO or CTO must be aware of.

Additional classes may be added to a program depending on the duration of the program or the specific needs of the community in the city where the event is taking place. Please see the page of the particular event for more specifics.

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The Instructors

Instructors for the music startup academy are all bona-fide experts, currently employed in top positions at leading content companies, publishing, management, legal, marketing, and tech. They have taken time out of their busy professional schedules to offer a unique and valuable learning experience for attendees.

Previous instructors include:

Aileen Atkins
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard

Sterling Bacon
Artist Manager
Red Light Management

Darryl Ballantyne
Founder & CEO

Joe Belliotti
Director, Global Entertainment Marketing
The Coca-Cola Company

Alison Booth
VP, A&R Administration
Sony Nashville

Bill Campbell
Barefoot Media

Cameo Carlson
Sr. VP, Digital Business Dev'l
Borman Entertainment

Jay Cooper
VC, Global Mediz & Entertainment Practice
Greenberg Traurig

Richard Cruz
Brand Marketing

Jason Feinberg
Head of Artist Marketing
Pandora (formerly Epitaph Records)

Randall Foster
Managing Director
Focus Investment Banking

Kevin Grosch
FLO {thinkery}

Tony Grotticelli
Director, Digital Content & Analysis
Universal Music Group Nashville

YiPing Ho
VP, Digital Biz Dev'l
Warner Music Group

Jeff Hoffman
Partner & Co-Founder

Dan Kruchkow
CMO & Head of Digital Strategy
Crush Music Media Mgmt.

Jon Landman
The Syndicate

David Lilenfeld
Sterling Funder

Dale Manning
President & Founder

Shachar Oren
Neurotic Media

Christopher Read
VP, Enterprise Operations
INgrooves (formerly Sony DADC)

Adam Ritholz
Managing Partner
Ritholz Levy Sanders Chidekel & Fields

Maurice Russell
Sr. VP of Client Services
Harry Fox Agency (HFA)

Rachel Scarpati
Sales Director, Business Development
Harry Fox Agency (HFA)

Randy Shefer
Direcor Video, Games, Film & TV Music
Sony ATV

Devin Sevila
API Engineer

Anna Siegel
Marketing Mgr., North America

Shane Tobin
VP, Business Development
The Echo Nest

Jon Vanhala
Crossfade Partners

Jeff Wallace

David Wander
Associate Director, Digital Marketing & Sales
Roc Nation

Shawn Yeager
Back Porch Group