Startup Closeup: Jamm Round, the large winner at Entrepreneur Week | New Orleans CityBusiness

Startup Closeup: Jamm Round, the large winner at Entrepreneur Week | New Orleans CityBusiness

After touchdown distribution rights with EMPIRE Distribution, New Orleans native Brent Craige and his fraternity brother Marlon Butler in 2020 began creating an album by their impartial document label. However they bumped into extra challenges than they initially anticipated.
Brent Craige, Marlon Butler and Donovan Williams are eligible for a $400,000 funding after successful the culminating pitch occasion at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March.
“We have been tasked with assembling engineers, producers, rappers and singers to be able to make this album,” Craige mentioned. “However we had such a tough time .. that the album was unsuccessful.”
That was across the similar time that their buddy Donovan Williams grew to become expert in creating apps. By the tip of that 12 months, the three shaped Jamm Round, a networking app that enables musicians and others within the business to make quicker connections by free or paid subscriptions.
A couple of weeks in the past, Jamm Round gained the highest prize at IDEApitch, the culminating occasion of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. It made the founders eligible for a $400,000 funding, which might be their largest thus far. Jamm Round additionally was the one Black-owned startup out of 12 corporations in The Thought Village’s VillageX progress accelerator program this 12 months, which produced the startups competing in IDEApitch.
“Jamm Round is a particular firm that represents the great potential of what might be in-built New Orleans,” mentioned Jon Atkinson, CEO of The Thought Village. “Constructed for creators by creators, the corporate is redefining how musicians, globally, join and collaborate.”
Pitch: Relating to the music provide chain, the principle concern that Craige mentioned he got here throughout was on the composition stage of the method. Whether or not manufacturing, distribution or supply, every stage has completely different apps that compete to provide musicians the perfect likelihood of an organized expertise. Nonetheless, the music composition stage requires a number of apps, one thing Jamm Round seeks to treatment.
“What we’re primarily doing is streamlining the music composition course of .. every little thing that’s wanted within the composition course of, which is discovering artists, file sharing, messaging, composing instruments like creating your lyrics and melodies, we’re placing into Jamm Round,” Craige mentioned.
Traction: Jamm Round went by an preliminary testing part that included 700 customers. They now observe its utilization and have discovered that a mean of 13 individuals use the app day by day. Sooner or later, Jamm Round hopes to include options comparable to in-app notifications to encourage customers to return and supply extra correct information.
“Out of the 700 customers [during the testing phase], we had 13,000 swipes. Each consumer has despatched out about 4 requests on common,” Craige mentioned. “In order that they’re utilizing it, however we haven’t gotten to the purpose the place we’re monitoring that day by day energetic consumer, which is basically we’re attempting to do now that we bought this going after [the IDEApitch] competitors.”
Funding/Funding: The funding for the app initially got here from the three co-founders’ personal pockets, which they mentioned gave them hands-on expertise with constructing the corporate and the power to scale it. For the reason that app is in such an early stage, the $400,000 funding from the IDEApitch is their first official funding. The co-founders are actually seeking to household, buddies and members of the group to put money into the corporate earlier than shifting on to different funding ventures. Additionally, they’ve begun constructing their advisory board with assist from The Thought Village, the producer of NOEW.
“Once we first went into The Thought Village’s VillageX accelerator program, we didn’t have something however a product with customers, and that was sufficient for them,” Craige mentioned about nonprofit’s assist whereas attempting to develop Jamm Round.
Advertising and marketing: For the reason that app continues to be in its beta model, it’s accessible free of charge obtain within the Apple app retailer or Androids at Newtral Groundz, a digital media firm based by Craige, has been an important a part of spreading the phrase about Jamm Round. In addition they have delved into a couple of paid commercials that take a look at codecs finest suited to the corporate’s wants.
Competitors: An Australian-based firm referred to as Vampr began the same app in 2016. Nonetheless, Craige mentioned that Jamm Round differs resulting from Jamm Round’s connection to the hip-hop market. Additionally, the audience of Jamm Round is solely music creators, versus Vampr opening its providers to different professions.
Challenges: Craige mentioned discovering funding has been tough at instances. The corporate beforehand reached out to 6 completely different traders and was rejected by Google for Startups: Black Founders Fund, he mentioned.
“That’s why I need individuals to know that you simply don’t want tens of 1000’s of {dollars}; we constructed the app for $5,000,” he mentioned.

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