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News July 28, 2022

Music Startups, Bright Sparks and Big Ideas — Amplifier Wants You

Senior Journalist, B2B
Music Startups, Bright Sparks and Big Ideas — Amplifier Wants You

Talent isn’t always on the stage, in full view, or on the cut.

Music Startup Amplifier is hunting for the next big thing, the smarts behind the art that most fans might never hear of.

An initiative of VMDO and Australian Institute of Music’s iHUB, Amplifier is a talent spotter for ideas, furistists and bright sparks, and, as its name suggests, creates a considerable noise for the chosen few.

This year, 10 startups will be selected for the Victoria-wide program, which unlocks access to industry know-how, experience and opportunities from a cadre of seasoned professionals.

“It can be an idea, or an established company” that changes “the way we create, consume, distribute and engage with music,” explains Tristonne Forbes, head of AIM iHUB: Music Startup Incubator. “It’s about the strength of the idea, and the quality of the team.”

Once a great company is identified, “we can drop them into the eco-system and it can amplify its success, in ways a founder would find hard to achieve on their own.”

Within the iHub ecosystem are experienced entrepreneurs, including the founders of Muso, Vampr, Music Health and a dozen other successful music startups.

Also, mentors, venture building experts, lawyers with expertise in IP rights, “people that have built startups in other industries, industry experts in our community from within labels to radio stations,” notes Forbes. “We also have links to gatekeepers and investors who can support these companies as they grow. It’s a really exciting community. We’re starting small, as any indie startup does.”

Applications close next Sunday evening Aug. 7.

Then the fun begins.

On Monday, Aug. 15, the participants are announced and invited for sessions where they’re taught the ropes and exposed to investors.

An immersive two-day bootcamp will kick off Aug. 24 at Melbourne’s Music Market (startups must be registered or based in Victoria to participate).

Major-league help will be on hand, including Jaddan Comerford (UNIFIED Music Group and Side Stage Ventures); Stephen Hunt (Music Health); Alli Galloway (Jaxsta); Matt Saraceni (Southern Cross Austereo); Quentin Wallace (Archangel Ventures), and led by Forbes.

“It’s pretty exciting to have embarked on this,” says Simone Schinkel, CEO of Music Victoria which, along with VMDO, is collaborating on a state-wide call-out to the brightest startups in the state.

“We know people in music are hustlers by their very nature, and they’re entrepreneurs.” Though making the leap from idea to the market can be brutal. “You don’t have to do it all yourself,” Schinkel continues. “We can help set you up for success and hopefully push you into the next stratosphere of what’s possible and achievable.”

There’s a podium finish, which sees the three “hottest” startups earn full access to the iHub community and a swag of business tools, including an exclusive one-on-one chance to pitch to Side Stage Ventures, six weeks ongoing mentorship provided by AiM iHub, and a $1,000 voucher from Music Market Co-Work.

“If you have an idea, there are smart ways to turn that into a company,” adds Aijia “AJ” Li, music business manager at VMDO. “That’s how we can help, and get involved in that journey. Part of that journey is access, and we can help with that.”

The time is right “for this industry to get organised around innovation, if we’re going to remain globally competitive,” Forbes continues. “There’s a whole lot of music innovation startup programs that are being established around the world, and a whole lot of new technologies coming out of that. There are many educated investors who invest in a specific type of tech. It’s music’s turn.”

To apply for the 2-day bootcamp, click here.

Visit vmdo or message [email protected] for more.


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