By Bob Moczydlowsky, Managing Director of Techstars Music
Hi, I’m Bob Moczydlowsky, Managing Director of Techstars Music. One month ago, I wrote this blog post to mark the beginning of our annual recruitment and evaluation process for the Techstars Music Accelerator. In that post I noted three important changes we’re making for our 2021 program:
Techstars Music 2021 will run virtually — we will no longer require startups to relocate to Los Angeles upon acceptance. Our $120k USD per startup funding offers will remain the same, as will our perks package and program content. Techstars Music 2021 will start February 16th and end with our annual Demo Day on May 13th, 2021.
Techstars Music is committed to 50% of our program CEOs being diverse — with a particular focus on Black, LGBTQ+ and female founders. Black and LGBTQ+ culture are undeniable drivers of global music culture, and we believe startups led by individuals who identify with these cultures are best-positioned to shape the future of the business. Our program will use this benchmark of 50% Diverse CEOs going forward. ‘Diverse CEOs’ includes people of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, historically marginalized communities, indigenous people, and military veterans.*
We will be updating our sourcing and selection process to create equitable access to Techstars Music — no travel or in-person meetings required. All evaluation and recruiting events will be conducted by video conference, including our final screening event with Techstars Music member companies in December. Less expense for founders, less bias for the system, more and different effort from us to find incredible founders solving real problems for the music industry.
Today, I’d like to announce an exciting new program to invest even more capital into Techstars Music 2021 startups.
Like I noted in August, and as I hope is widely understood at this point, Techstars Music is a collaboration between Techstars and the global music business. For 2021, the Techstars Music Member companies are Warner Music Group, Bill Silva Entertainment, Sony, Concord, Royalty Exchange, AVEX Inc., Peloton, Entertainment One and new for this year, Amazon Music. The membership is a formidable team of artist managers, live event companies, streaming platforms, consumer product manufacturers and global rights-holders, all working to accelerate startups and attract more capital to the music tech ecosystem — and increase it’s cultural diversity.
Techstars Music members provide more than just operating capital; they run the program with us, helping at every step of the process, from selection, to mentoring, to business development, and yes, follow-on investment. Over the last four years, member companies have made 16 direct follow-on investments, totaling more than $7 million of the more than $90 million USD in post-program funding raised by Techstars Music alumni.
Today, Concord launched a $10 million Impact Investment Initiative to deploy capital into projects, businesses and organizations in the music and theater industries that serve or are led by members of underrepresented and marginalized communities.
Together, we’re thrilled to announce Concord will commit an additional matching seed investment of $30k into each of the companies accepted into the 2021 Techstars Music Accelerator program that meet the criteria of Concord’s Impact Initiative. Concord will also guarantee a follow-on investment into the first round of post-program fundraising of up to $100k for each of those startups matching Concord’s strategic goals and priorities.
These additional matching funds will provide qualified startups with $150k in funding upon acceptance into Techstars Music, as well as offering a huge assist with completing their post-program financing. Together with our members, we are actively working to diversify our recruiting efforts, our global mentor pool (comprised of 300+ mentors from tech, venture, music and live events) and even the membership itself.
Next week, during our public Founder Interview with Mary Haskett from Blink Identity, we’ll release our D&I data for our current 2021 recruiting pipeline, holding ourselves publicly accountable for meeting our commitment to 50% of our 2021 program CEO’s being diverse. I can already tell you we don’t have nearly enough startups led by women in our applicant pool.
Do you know a founder, mentor or investor who cares deeply about the future of music? I want to meet them. My email is bobmoz at techstars dot com. I’m @bobmoz on Twitter. Please reach out.
Is your startup next? See THIS LIST of recruiting events, and let’s meet up. Looking forward to meeting you!
— Bob Moczydlowsky, @bobmoz
Managing Director, Techstars Music