Oslo Innovation Week 2014 opened with MashUp – a music innovation start-up by WiMP Music, Music Norway, Phonofile, 657 Oslo and IKT-Norge. Norway leads the way in the digital music scene – the Norwegian digital music market is the most advanced in the world, accounting for 78% of total revenues – but potential remains for new initiatives in the interplay between music and technology, aimed at attracting early phase investors within technology to Norway. In the first six months of 2013, for instance, only seven early phase investments from the European Venture Capital Association were made in Norway, compared to 75 in Sweden. Spotting a gap for developing its technology industry amidst an already-thriving music scene, MashUp unites the two by creating a platform for start-ups to shape the music-tech scene in and beyond Norway.
MashUp’s aim is to get the best innovators in Norway to submit their ideas for a pitch competition at by:Larm in February, in front of an expert jury. The best idea with the best pitch will get free office space at the MashUp innovation hub at 657 Oslo, an innovation-focused environment, with guidance throughout the year from experienced talents in the tech, music and legal fields, supporting the idea to become a real business.
Where did the idea of MashUp come from?
We were inspired by Startup Sauna in Helsinki. Since Norway has the most advanced digital music market in the world, the idea of Mashup was born, as we thinks it’s time for us to make smart products too. With MashUp we want to put focus on start-ups and entrepreneurship specifically in the music tech industry in Norway. Both investors of venture capital and the public sector – such as Innovation Norway – should start preparing for the country beyond its oil market trade. In the music industry we already have a window that we should profit on.
How have the events gone so far? What’s been happening?
The events MashUp have been organizing have had massive attention with a broad audience. This has given us a good confirmation that both music and ICT industry see the potential for this market. Now we just have to grasp it!
What will the Oslo meets Hackney event (this year on December 5) involve?
It a classical elevator pitch for UK, Norwegian B2B, press and ICT/Music Industry.
Have you had many submissions so far?
Not so far, but from our previous experience with our “call for submissions”, we will get submissions actually on the deadline-day.
Is there only one winner? How do you decide who wins?
There is only one winner! They pitch to a highly qualified jury from the music, tech, venture, and entrepreneurial world, with each member possessing the appropriate skills to judge. The start-ups have to be prepared and really believe in their idea to be the next SoundCloud or Spotify. It is rough, but it has to be.
What are the opportunities for the winner by launching their idea at by:Larm 2015?
They will be part of an international contest; they will meet important and influential members of the music industry in one of the most active musical capitals in Europe. They will also meet investors from Norway and new markets, so it’s a really unique opportunity for networking and building a professional platform for their start-ups.
How have the previous winners progressed since their competition?
They definitely have progressed! I think the most valuable thing for them is to be part of our network, get free office space and mentors to help them in their process towards commercialisation. In my experience it is this bringing together of the creators in the music industry and of the tech industry onto the same platform which is the key to understanding the success for both markets. The start-ups need to meet with the musicians, the bands and the users and vice versa. It’s about open communication.
How has MashUp developed so far and what are its growth plans for the future?
MashUp is aiming for continuity for start-ups, in our activities and mentors. Our plans for the future are to collaborate and be present on the most important music tech scenes in the world and to grow an international network for the start-ups, which will be part of our accelerator program. Collaboration and exchanging knowledge is very important for MashUp, so anyone with a good idea, event or investor that wants to take part is welcome to get in contact.
(C) Gorm K.Gaare/EUP-Berlin