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Getting Your Music Startup Funded: Whale, Dolphins, and Minnows

#sxsw #WDMmodel

Music tech startups are springing up right and left, with some industry watchers proclaiming a glut of companies and over-funding that will end in a shakeout. But select music tech startups with truly innovative business models are still getting funded and have the chance to become billion-dollar companies. Find out what type of startups are getting funded and how some startups are adopting a ‘whales, dolphins, and minnows’ model – moving away from subscriptions and downloads to adopting models used by the gaming and sports industries that ‘monetize fans not content’. Learn how the WDM model works, which music tech startups are applying it, and why it’s critical the music industry adopts this approach to survive.


MODERATOR Hany Nada Partner GGV Capital

Hany Nada is a founding partner of GGV Capital and has worked as a long-term partner with more than 150 companies over the past decade. He is a trusted resource to CEOs on global market development, customer introductions, and M&A/IPO guidance across US and Asian markets. Hany was named to the 2012 Venture Capital 100 . Hany made his first investment in China in 2001, and has led the firm’s successful investments in athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), Endeca (acquired by Oracle) Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU),Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive), Turbine (acquired by Time Warner) and Xfire (acquired by Viacom). Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for PlayHaven, Vocera Communications(NYSE: VCRA), BandPage, Glu Mobile, and Wild Tangent. Earlier in his career, Hany spent 10 years on Wall Street as a research analyst at Piper Jaffray focusing on Internet software and infrastructure. He holds a B.S. in economics and a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota.

Steve Rennie Artist Mgr REN Management Corporation

Steve Rennie has worked in the music business for over 30 years. He has a broad range of experience as a concert promoter, record executive, internet entrepreneur, and artist manager. He recently launched a new project, Renman Music & Business ( , and hosts a web show called “RenmanLive” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on designed to help aspiring musicans and music professionals navigate today’s music business.

He has also been deeply involved in the intersection of music and technology since the earliest days of the internet. Steve has been the personal manager for multi-platinum rock band Incubus for the last 16 years and has guided them from the day they got signed to a record deal to being a hugely successful worldwide record selling and concert attraction.

From 1998 -2000, he was a founding member of one of the early internet music startups, ARTIST DIRECT.

From 1994 -1998 he was the Senior Vice President/GM of Epic Records/Sony Music where he worked with artists like Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Ozzy Osbourne, Incubus, and Celine Dion. At Epic Records he was deeply involved in the label’s artist development strategy including touring and the label’s internet and new media strategy.

Prior to joining Sony Music he managed a number of Alternative Rock artists including Primal Scream, The The, Dramarama, The Wonder Stuff, and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.

From 1982-1990 he was the Senior VP at Southern California’s #1 concert promoter Avalon Attractions, which is now part of Live Nation, booking shows from clubs on the Sunset Strip to stadium shows at the Rose Bowl and Coliseum.