Universal deal to help MAP find next big musical tech start-up

GLOBAL music giant Universal Music Group is teaming up with the Melbourne Accelerator Program to help uncover the next big digital music start-up star.

The Melbourne University accelerator is the latest signing for Universal’s Accelerator Engagement Network, joining labs in Berlin, New York, Seoul, Taipei, Belgium, Shanghai and Toronto.

Under the exclusive deal, MAP will be the Australian accelerator of choice for music start-ups — such as streaming services, apps and hardware — who will have access to high-level expertise.

MAP director Campbell Walshe said the Melbourne accelerator was delighted to be chosen as the eighth partner internationally.

“The opportunity to access the expertise, mentorship, industry insights, and networks of a global entertainment-leader like UMG will be invaluable for any music-related start-ups looking to accelerate their growth,” Mr Walshe said. “We’re confident this will help us attract the very best start-up talent within this space.”

The arrangement, a major boost for MAP, will be announced at its demo day on Tuesday.

Universal Music launched its accelerator engagement network in October last year.

Universal saw it as having potential to “serve as a strategic bridge” between the creative minds working in the entertainment industry and the innovative start-up communities in entrepreneurial centres around the world.

Melbourne Accelerator Program director Campbell Walshe (left) and Universal managing director of emerging technology and media Stephen Hunt in ACDC Lane in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling


“(We’re) looking forward to engaging with both the Melbourne and larger Australian start-up ecosystem to foster the next generation of music-related start-ups,” Universal emerging technology and media managing director Stephen Hunt said.

UMG new digital business and innovation senior vice-president Tuhin Roy said the company was looking forward to working with new digital start-ups.

To date, internationally there have been 28 digital start-ups under the Universal program.

Since its launch as the first university-aligned accelerator in 2012, MAP has supported more than 100 start-ups who have raised more than $70 million funding, generated $100 million in revenue and created more than 1000 new jobs.

Each year 10 teams are selected to take part in the five-month Start-up Accelerator, where they receive mentoring, access to a global network of advisers, channel partners and investors and funding.