Get the answers below to all your burning questions about Project Music Portfolio - or at least we hope you will!
How does it work?
While the specific experience of each entrepreneur varies based on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, the basic process is simple: (1) We stay up-to-date on the entrepreneur’s needs and (2) we bring the right resources to the entrepreneur to address those needs. We provide that support in the most convenient and meaningful way possible.
Following is a walk-through of a “typical” case:
We check-in monthly with the entrepreneur to understand the entrepreneur’s needs and goals for the next month.
The entrepreneur goes back to creating, launching, or growing the business while we work through our resource network to identify up to three critical value adds we can provide to help the entrepreneur address those needs and accelerate development.
We send the entrepreneur three specific opportunities, the entrepreneur approves us to facilitate the engagements for each opportunity.
We connect the entrepreneur to the resources, the entrepreneur and resources meet on our behalf.
We follow-up with the resource, if appropriate, to collect feedback.
We check-in with the entrepreneur the next month to follow-up on the meetings of the past month, track their progress, understand their current needs, and continue the process.
What about the quarterly programming?
We have four mandatory, single-day, onsite sessions for entrepreneurs in the program. We intentionally schedule these sessions to be convenient for the entrepreneurs participating and curate a targeted, valuable experience for the entrepreneurs. We work with entrepreneurs in advance to make sure they connect to the right resources while they are at the EC, and that each session targets specific, timely needs of the entrepreneurs in the group. These specific dates and details will be released within the next few weeks.
How does this relate to the Project Music Accelerator Program?
Currently, we have no plans to run an accelerator in 2018. Portfolio is the next evolution of the first-ever music-tech accelerator program in the U.S., which kicked off three years ago at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. After running this specific accelerator along with other accelerators and programs at the EC, we’ve leveraged participant feedback and learnings to create Portfolio. This program model takes the same resources of the original accelerator program - connections, curriculum & community - but revamps how they are delivered so that they are custom tailored to each entrepreneur's needs. Additionally, by stretching out the program offering from 3 months to 12 months, the program pace is less interruptive and more sustainable. We will be able to accept more teams into the program at a single time, while also delivering more relevant value as it is needed and the entrepreneur is ready. The mission of Project Music is to foster innovation in the music industry, and this helps us do that.
Why did you make this switch?
We believe it works better for the entrepreneurs we serve.
Why not do the accelerator?
At this time, this model works better for the entrepreneurs we want to serve and we don’t have the resources to do both.
Wait, you charge money and I don’t get money?
Yes. We are a nonprofit. If you want to raise money, we will help you become investment ready and navigate investor networks, but we do not directly invest. By removing the capital restrictions we are able to support more teams and stay true to the entrepreneur’s needs. If all you want is to raise money, we are not the right program for you.
What happens when I graduate?
Once you’ve worked with us for a full year you can become an alumni if you'd like, or renew your membership in the program for another year.
What if I enter the program but I find out it isn’t for me?
We're very careful about selecting participants that fit the program and our expertise. However, if it turns out it’s not for you or it’s not working for your schedule, that’s fine. We know things change. You can drop out of the program and get the last quarter’s payment back.
What are your expectations of teams in the program?
Teams in the program must meet standard program expectations.
(be responsive to check-ins, show up on time to events and meetings, not steal each other’s ideas, etc…)
Teams must be good stewards of Project Music’s goodwill.
(provide a good experience for the people we connect you to)
Teams must contribute to the sustainability of the program.
(support the mechanisms that enable us to charge a low price, like stats, sitting through a sponsor blurb, etc…)
Will you accept teams throughout the year?
The number of teams we accept is based on the number of awesome applicants that we can meaningfully support. Throughout the year, some factors may expand our capacity, enabling us to onboard additional teams throughout the year. If so, spots would be significantly more limited, your chances of acceptance would dwindle, and you would still be competing against all the teams that applied to enter with the 2018 Project Music Portfolio batch but had not been accepted. If you are interested in the program, your best bet is to apply now.
Do you get me customers, business partners, and investors?
No. We do get you introductions that can lead to that, as has been the case for other portfolio teams we have worked with. But in the meeting, we set up an opportunity for you to learn from the individual, rather than make an active sales call. The combination of our endorsement, preparation of both sides for the meeting, and the entrepreneur's strong performance may result in sales, business deals, or investments, but we only create the opportunity. At the same time, the vast majority of these meetings are for advice, not straight sales calls, and in so doing the opportunities often present themselves.
How do you make connections? Does this mean I get to meet with anybody I want to, right away?
No. We leverage the full support of our expertise and networks in the most appropriate way that (1) delivers a valuable experience for the entrepreneur, and (2) delivers a valuable experience for the person the entrepreneur is meeting with. We know what our advisors and network partners want an entrepreneur to have accomplished prior to a meeting and how they want the entrepreneur to approach the meeting. Until the entrepreneur is ready to succeed in those two criteria, we won’t make that specific introduction. However, we will help the entrepreneur become prepared for the meeting and make whatever introductions are necessary before then.
Can I see your alumni?
Sure. You can see them - as well as some recent program wins - here.
What if I fold up shop or want to drop out before the year is over?
That’s fine. We will always refund the portion of the prior quarter’s payment you believe is appropriate as long you simply explain why you are dropping out. Your risk Is low.
What about stats and reporting?
We report numbers in aggregate with our programs to protect the sensitivity of our individual teams’ individual data. We use the aggregated data to assist with our fundraising efforts that enable us to help keep prices low and fulfill our mission as a non-profit.
When will I hear back about my application?
You will hear back around late January or early February.
If I'm based in Nashville, do I get an EC membership?
Yes! You will get one free year of our Cowork membership + 50% off Incubate membership.