Universal Music Group has launched an international accelerator network to support the development of music-based start-ups. The music industry giant plans to work closely with entrepreneurial initiatives around the world to evaluate and back music outfits and contribute music industry expertise.
Universal says it expects to ally with up to 10 accelerator programmes in the first year of the network, with Berlin-based Axel Springer’s Plug and Play, Belgium’s LeanSquare and NYC MediaLab, which runs projects for student and faculty entrepreneurs at New York-area universities, already onboard.
The music company sees itself acting as a strategic bridge between creative minds in the entertainment industry and the innovative start-up communities. Tuhin Roy, UMG’s vice president of new digital business, says Universal will also get to learn from entrepreneurs about new ways to apply digital technologies in its own businesses.
Music start-ups are the flavour of 2017. LA-based Music Techstars announced earlier this month that is on the lookout for a new intake of tech start-ups for its next accelerator programme, slated to begin in early-2018, while the UK’s Marathon Artists is kicking off the second year of its LABs music-tech start-up accelerator initiative.
The skinny on Plug & Play Accelerator: The outfit is an early-stage accelerator and a joint venture between Axel Springer SE and the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley. Three times a year, Axel Springer Plug and Play runs a 100-day programme to provide startups with coaching, workshops, networking, €25,000 in funding, and office space.
Image: Plug & Play Accelerator