This weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting another edition of LiveHacks by Stagecast at our Amplify villa.
If you haven't heard of it yet - LiveHacks is a hackathon hosted by one of our incubator companies, Stagecast. During the event, passionate coders, designers and makers come together to revolutionize the way we experience live entertainment. Each hackathon is focused on a different topic and different challenge. This time, it was all about the sound!
The teams of hackers could choose to work either on the “Voice-hack challenge” provided by Universal Music and Telia around Voice Controlled Demands (VCD) and working with Amazon's Alexa or they had the opportunity to work with the Stagecast team and be a part of their revolution of live entertainment events.
Each team consisted of carefully selected and really talented coders, makers and designers but, if needed, they had the support from the Stagecast team and the event's partners - Universal, Telia and ÅF, to help with their business ideation as well as the technical part.
On top of all the necessities like hardware, APIs and very cool light installations, the participants were provided with lots of pizza to keep them going and beers to celebrate after a day full of designing and developing their ideas!
In just 12 hours, the teams have come up with brilliant ideas and solutions to use our smartphones for interaction rather than a distraction before the concert starts - from engaging everyone in a light show to being artists and creating digital drawings together. We were also able to see new ways of how we can integrate Alexa into our daily lives and use the software to create custom playlists based on our current mood or even back up our signing at a party where no one wants to be the first one on the dancefloor.
The best part is, everyone could try out the new interaction tools and in the end, vote for their favorite team through the Stagecast app!
The grand prize went to team Waves (Stefan Lindqvist, Calle Erlandsson, Yuzi Lindsay, Ramon Andres Amezcua & Sourabh Pateriya) who has come up with a way to turn any event into a fun light show by interacting with a light installation. The individual winner was Danning Chen, who were part of creating a great project together with her team with a super positive attitude towards all the problems she was confronted with! Although these were the winners, all nine projects were amazing and the workload behind it was impressive.
The presentations were followed by an exclusive concert by a Swedish artist Arvid Lizell. All the participants got a chance to relax and enjoy fantastic live music after a very long day!
On April 27th, we had the pleasure of hosting David Stenmarck and Andreas Liffgarden, two of Amplify's co-founders, at another one of our AMP Talks.
If you didn't have the chance to attend yet, AMP Talks is a series of events with influential and successful speakers in the music and technology industries, hosted by Amplify.
This time, we invited David and Andreas to share their stories from starting successful businesses in the music tech industry, as well as some advice for all the starting entrepreneurs in the audience.
David is a music entrepreneur and composer with a passion to build businesses. His most successful one is probably Epidemic Sound - a platform that allows companies and individuals soundtrack their stories with quality music. David, who is a music producer himself and has worked with stars like Celine Dion and Westlife, understood how hard can it be to make a living as a musician. He has also seen how hard can it be to find quality music for your project, without a hassle. Thus, Epidemic Sound was born to solve that problem.
David's advice for our attendees? When starting a business, you need to go all in. There is no shortcuts and you need to accept that it is often complex. Your road to success may be bumpy in the beginning and that's why it's crucial to have a team that is prepared for the challenge. David and Andreas both agreed that at an early stage of a company, the team is essential. You may have a fantastic idea but if you don't have the right people to execute it - chances are, you won't be able to take your idea much further.
Andreas, who is the founder of Soundtrack Your Brand, had many fun anecdotes from his early days at Spotify and some great advice for everyone trying to break into the music tech industry. Soundtrack Your Brand's mission is to change how brands and businesses use digitally distributed music on a global scale.
Most important lesson learned from Andreas - it's a complicated industry and you have no other choice but to accept it. Music rights are complicated, licensing is complicated... and there is no way around it. Your best bet is to have someone on your team or even an external advisor who is more experienced in the subject than you. Don't be afraid to seek advice!
Andreas made an amusing analogy with a cookie cutter and a vegetable slicer/dicer - while many entrepreneurs from other industries may think about their product or service in a single "cookie cutter" form, while entrepreneurs in the music industry, need to "slice and dice" and break everything down into smaller parts to examine and understand the complexities of the industry.
Best advice we got from Andreas? Building a business is a bit like a tennis game - everything bad that has happened in the past is irrelevant if you win every ball in the future.
We're looking forward to the next AMP Talks and bringing more successful entrepreneurs on stage!