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Last October, I announced the creation of Techstars Music, a new startup accelerator program created to invest in the broad ecosystem of music.

We brought together major record labels (Warner Music Group and Sony Music), global artist management and live event companies (Q Prime Management, Silva Artist Management, Young Guru’s Era of the Engineer, Bill Silva Entertainment), independent game studios (Harmonix Music Systems), and the manufacturer of the leading whole-home audio system (Sonos) to provide capital, mentorship, business development and licensing opportunities to the best music startups on the planet.

To complete the circle, we will also have an Artist In Residence program bringing in world class artists to work directly with our Founders in order to provide the unique perspective that only artists can give.  We are honored to have Bob Moses and D∆WN aka Dawn Richard joining us for the program.

Today, I am happy to announce we’ve made our selections and invested in our first class of startups; Amper, Hurdl, JAAK, Pacemaker, Pippa, Popgun, Robin, Shimmur, Superpowered, SyncSpot, and Weav. That is not, as you might notice, the typical class of 10 startups. These go to 11.

Many thanks to our member companies — along with our investor friends at Techstars Ventures, Backstage Capital, Foundry Group and Union Square Ventures — for helping us find such an elite group of founders.

What do I mean by elite? They’ve managed superstar artists and social media influencers, been named to Forbes 30 under 30 lists, won Apple Design awards, created a global community of more than ten thousand professional DJs, sold a previous company (We Are Hunted) to Twitter, run a child-health organization, managed content for TED, authored New York Times best-selling books, created music and sound design for major film, TV and videogames… even co-created Google Maps. I’m half-amazed they let me hang around with them at all.

We genuinely believe these are the most promising startups in music. We can’t wait to see what they can do now that we have them all in one art-filled and sun-drenched room here in LA, where they will work with hundreds of independent mentors from all facets of the music business and technology, as well as our two artists-in-residence, Bob Moses and D∆WN.

Time to make some noise… 😉

If you’re interested in learning more about Techstars Music, please email us at music at techstars dot com.

Ladies and gentlemen… the Inaugural Class of Techstars Music, 2017:

Amper New York City, NY

Amper is an artificial intelligence composer, performer, and producer that empowers you to instantly create and customize original music for your content.

Founders: Drew Silverstein (CEO), Sam Estes (Founder), Michael Hobe (Founder)

Hurdl Nashville, TN

Hurdl increases fan engagement and revenue at live events with a unique LED wearable that allows artists, teams and event planners a new 1:1 communication network with both the known and unknown ticket holder.

Founders: Betsy McHugh (CEO), Zach Shunk (CTO)

JAAK London, United Kingdom

JAAK uses blockchain tech to connect music, metadata and rights information. Our goal is to create a real-time metadata network and a standardized framework for low-cost licensing.

Founders: Vaughn McKenzie (CEO), Fred Tibbles (Chief Developer), Viktor Tron (Architect)

Pacemaker Stockholm, Sweden

Pacemaker provides a simple and portable mixtape creation and social consumption experience on top of streamed music, powered by the proprietary file format the Recipe and AI DJ technology.

Founders: Jonas Norberg (CEO), Daniel Wallner (CTO), Olof Berglof (CMO)

Pippa New York City, NY

Pippa makes podcasting simpler, smarter, and more profitable by enabling targeted ads to be delivered dynamically to listeners.

Founders: Simon Marcus (CEO), Erwan Jegouzo (CTO)

Popgun Brisbane, Australia

Popgun is using deep learning to make original pop music. Today we are teaching computers to sing. Tomorrow we plan to produce a top 40 hit record. Popgun aims to be the best music AI company in the world.

Founders: Stephen Phillips (CEO), Adam Hibble (CTO)

Robin Toronto, Canada

Robin is a personal concierge for concerts and live events. Robin reserves and secures tickets on behalf of fans while providing real-time demand data to artists and event organizers.

Founders: Adam McIsaac (CEO), Cam Gorrie (CTO), Dave Levin (COO)

Shimmur Los Angeles, CA & New York City, NY

Shimmur is a social platform that makes it easy for artists and influencers to have quality interactions with fans. Shimmur flips how social apps usually work; on Shimmur, tribes of fans work together to create content and artists and influencers react and comment.

Founders: Matthew Peltier (CEO), Charlie Buffin (COO), Max Levine (CSO)

Superpowered Austin, TX & Budapest, Hungary

Superpowered provides real-time, low-latency audio infrastructure for games, VR, music and interactive audio applications on mobile and wearable devices.

Founders: Patrick Vlaskovits (CEO), Gabor Szanto (CTO)

SyncSpot Los Angeles, CA

SyncSpot uses an AI assistant to create and fulfill free-gift media rewards for in-store promotions. Example: Buy product X, get a free music subscription.  

Founders: Jubair Jalil (CEO), Mohammed Jalil (CTO)

Weav New York City, NY & London, United Kingdom  

Weav makes adaptive music via an artist remix console, and will be the supplier of bio-metric-driven music to workout apps, dance studios, exercise equipment manufacturers and action sports products.

Founders: Elomida Visviki (CEO), Lars Rasmussen (CTO)


Bob Moczydlowsky Bob Moczydlowsky
Bob Moczydlowsky has dedicated his entire career to connecting artists and fans through technology. Prior to Techstars he worked at Twitter, Topspin Media and Yahoo! Music, and he teaches in the Masters of Entertainment Industry Management program at Carnegie Mellon University. He is now Managing Director of the Techstars Music Accelerator. Reach out to him via Twitter, @bobmoz.