Universal Music Group (UMG has announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind accelerator engagement network by a major music entertainment company aimed at promoting the development of innovative music-based start-ups around the world.
To support the key contributions that accelerator programs provide to the global start-up ecosystem, UMG will work closely with key entrepreneurial programs based in countries around the world to assist in the evaluation and development of music-based start-ups. UMG will contribute music industry expertise during the application process and mentor accepted digital music companies, while accelerators will guide these new companies in developing, launching and raising funding for innovative new products.
UMG anticipates working with as many as ten programs in the first year of launching the accelerator network. The first accelerators to join the network include Axel Springer’s Plug and Play, a media-focused accelerator based in Berlin; LeanSquare, a music technology accelerator launched by the Liege, Belgium-based investment firm; and NYC MediaLab, which runs programs for student and faculty entrepreneurs at New York-area universities who are interested in launching digital media start-ups.
In making the announcement, Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, said, “UMG is launching the Accelerator Network to build on the company’s stellar track-record of supporting entrepreneurs around the world and licensing more than 400 digital services globally. By developing a robust network of accelerators, UMG will play a more central role in helping to support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are already hard at work to bring innovative ideas to market that will create exciting new experiences for artists and fans everywhere.”
Tuhin Roy, UMG’s Vice President of New Digital Business, said, “UMG has the potential to serve as a strategic bridge between the creative minds working in the epicenter of the entertainment industry and the immensely innovative start-up communities in entrepreneurial centers around the world. From this vantage point, UMG is uniquely positioned to help foster the next wave of innovative digital music start-ups, while also learning from these amazing entrepreneurs about new ways to apply digital technologies in our own businesses to benefit artists and labels.”