Reflections from the Music Business Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Guest post by Larry Miller

When I first considered becoming Music Business Entrepreneur in Residence at NYU Steinhardt, I expected to engage with graduating seniors throughout the semester, get to know them and understand their talents, learn about their past experiences and help turn their ideas into action. I hoped to be a constant presence for them as they immersed themselves in the creative process of imagining a new music startup – and built a plan to make it real. But what I got was much more than that. I quite literally had a front row seat as I participated in their process, presented some of the course topics, coached team members and acted as both catalyst and sounding board for students to build on their ideas, challenge their assumptions and themselves, pitch their projects and express them in investor-ready form.

The breadth of ideas presented was impressive, as was the scope of business models presented for development. Of course the projects all had music at their core; they ranged from digital music services to live entertainment combining music and art; from production tools to the not-for-profit sector. Each student wrestled with the fundamental challenge of entrepreneurship; creating an idea, transforming it into a sustainable business plan and executing. Product prototypes were built; revenues, costs and market assumptions were pressure-tested; and a live event was produced, validating the plan with great success. I was proud of them all.

A few shout outs are in order; to the graduating Music Business students who welcomed me so warmly and engaged with me so rigorously. And to Professor Radbill, an extraordinary partner for me throughout my EIR term as I integrated the curriculum, pedagogy and student projects. I am grateful to her for the EIR opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from students as they embark on careers and in some cases start businesses of their own. Reach me at lsm[AT]larrymillerco[DOT]com, or look for me down the hall. I’ll be back as an Adjunct Professor in the fall.