1. Describe to me a little bit more about what IndieU is. IndieU is an online music platform that connects independent musicians to college students, with the ability for users to follow the music tastes of their friends, create playlists, and stream/download thousands of independent songs for free. With over 50 student representatives in 20 schools across the nation, IndieU helps artists grow a strong localized college fan base while providing students with everything they need to know about their local music scene. With hundreds of articles to browse through, as well as a recently launched interactive digital magazine, new music discovery is endless. In the fall, IndieU will be launching their event creation tool in which students can create their own events, book local artists to perform, and share in the revenues generated by ticket sales.
2. What are the latest IndieU developments? We have been very busy! We recently launched our brand new 'Listen' page so users can now browse music by genre, mood and even college. This week we are excited to launch our artist services page which is where artists will find 'perks' and better ways to connect with a college audience. We have formed strategic partnerships with companies like TuneCore, Koral Young Group and Earbits Radio who are all featured on this page with exclusive discounts for IndieU artists. We have also been hosted an artist contest in which the winner gets to perform for thousands at the first ever Venice Wave Fest music festival happening on Venice Beach in September so we are very excited about that event.
3. What's next for IndieU? (projects, obstacles, etc)
We have been very busy working on the next phase of IndieU. In the fall we will be launching a big tech upgrade which will enable users to becomes hosts, create events or parties and book local musicians to perform. Artists can be booked off a fixed fee or earn a percentage of ticket sales along with the host and charities chosen by the ticket buyers. This is a very exciting upgrade for us and we can't wait for you to experience it.
4. When did you start this company? When were you struck with the idea?
Now the idea of IndieU didn't just come to me one night, it evolved over a series of events in my life. I started working in the music business my senior year of high school. I was at a concert and was 'dared' by my friends to get the opening band (who was blowing up at the time) to perform at my upcoming 18th birthday party. Long story short, I met the manager of the band that night, got his card and soon after I had quite the memorable 18th birthday party with a headlining act. After that party I asked the manager to let me intern with him over and over until he couldn't say no. I started working in music management my senior year of high school and began managing my own artists. My freshman year of college I signed my first artist to Interscope/Geffen Records and was ecstatic. I thought that because he was now signed to a major label, that in no time he was going to be the biggest thing out there but to my surprise, he wasn't. I started to look into how artists were doing it without the help of major labels such as Macklemore, Mac Miller, and BOB and they all targeted the college demographic to grow a strong core fan base. So one night while in my college dorm shower, the idea hit me. An independent artist movement. I had no idea what that truly meant at the time but I believe that with IndieU's evolution we are slowly but surely making those words a reality. The original concept of IndieU began my junior year of college so three years ago. Time flies. It has transformed a ton since it was initially created but the core concept and idea of an indie artist movement is always something I have stuck to and will forever stay true to.
5. Do you work on the company full times now that you have graduated?
Ah, yes! The minute I graduated from college I told my parents I was going to do this as my full time job and low and behold its' been two years since I graduated and I'm still doing it! We are growing and evolving into something pretty amazing and I could never have imagined doing something different after college.
6. What has Hub101 done for your start-up? Hub101 has been an awesome resource for me. It has provided me with a location to get serious and get work done without a blender going off (like in the coffee shop)! It has allowed me to meet so many likeminded individuals and even exposed me to opportunities such as pitching to hundreds at the Civic Arts Plaza to pitching to investors such as billionaire Tim Draper. I have grown a ton since I started working out of here and it has really allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and grow as an entrepreneur and CEO.
7. How did you find Hub101?
I actually found Hub101 before it was Hub101 :] I've been here since before the program existed but seeing its transformation and what it's become has been great! It's doing wondrous things for its community.
8. What is the community like here at Hub101? The community here is awesome. Everyone is so friendly and open to learning from one another. There is no sense of competition or jealousy amongst the companies here, everyone just wants to see one another succeed. The endless supply of food and coffee is also pretty awesome :]
9. What has it been like working with Greg?
Working with Greg has been great. He is an awesome sounding board and more than anything else, he pushes you to never give up and keep following your dreams no matter what BS you may be going through in any given day.
10. What advice do you have for someone in college wanting to launch their own start-up?
My advice would be to find something you are so obsessed with, that even if you never got paid from it, you would still wake up every single day with the same enthusiasm and determination as the people making millions. If you have that, then you have everything.