NYU Steinhardt News

MPAP Sends Four Students to Real Startup 2018

Four students from our department recently participated in Real Startup, a two-week accelerator program for university-based startup ventures focusing on media, entertainment, music, and technology.

Real Startup took place in San Francisco and consisted of five teams. The student entrepreneurs in the program, of which NYU Steinhardt is a corporate sponsor, experienced a packed schedule of mentorship and education from professionals at Dolby, Google, Pandora, and Eventbrite, among others. The students practiced their pitches and learned ways to move ahead with their startups. Two of the teams included Music and Performing Arts Professions students – Playgrounds and Curtain Call.

Playgrounds partners with art and cultural institutions to design and build digital experiences for families to interact with in their homes, while encouraging them to visit the sponsoring institutions. Playgrounds’ users engage with art and culture through incentivized, contextualized, and enhanced real-life, site-specific experiences. Playgrounds rewards users with opportunities to buy discounted tickets and merchandise, and encourages users to make donations to arts organizations. Playgrounds collects a percentage of the transactions that occur through its platform.

Playgrounds spun out of the Music Experience Design Lab, and includes recent Music Business grad Andre Kostiw-Gill, and current Music Technology graduate students Tyler Bisson and Willie Payne. Diana Castro, an NYU Tandon alum, is also a team member. The Playgrounds team recently completed the NYC Media Lab’s accelerator program, the Combine, which included a $25,000 award, and is currently seeking letters of intent from arts and cultural institutions for a pilot project.

Curtain Call is an online and mobile platform designed to help users explore their local music scene. Based on an individual’s music preferences, Curtain Call will recommend local concerts and offer discounted tickets with no added fees. The Curtain Call team includes Music Business major Carissa Estilo and NYU Tandon student Quinn Robertson.

Curtain Call is hoping that their app will not only help concertgoers take in more shows without breaking the bank, but also help venues to receive more exposure and earn extra revenue via ticket and bar sales, while helping artists to attract new fans. Curtain Call receives a commission from selling tickets with partnering venues and via affiliate links from resale websites.