(Contributed by Claire Hansen, Capital Factory Accelerator)
Join me in giving a shout out to Luis Berga, co-founder and COO of Capital Factory Accelerator company Music Meets Video (MMV). I know I’m not allowed to have favorites… but MMV is especially near and dear to my heart because they became a part of the Accelerator community the same week that I did, back in May 2015.
But that’s not the only reason, we dig ‘em. MMV hosts highly competitive online music contests featuring up-and-coming musicians performing popular songs. Fun, right? Luis and co-founder Alex Mitchell were involved with Capital Factory as co-workers and hosts of the Music Tech Meet-up before applying for the Accelerator. That’s how this duo learned how strong the Capital Factory network is and fell in love with the co-working space—taking the next step and becoming an Accelerator company last May was a no-brainer.
Ready to dive a little deeper into MMV? Here we go!
What inspired you to found MMV?
CEO Alex Mitchell was a music blogger who worked in video forensics when the he realized that no one had truly replicated the success of American Idol on the Internet and decided to start Music Meets Video.
I met Alex through an online community for entrepreneurs called FounderDating. I moved to Austin from San Diego and didn’t know anyone, so I reached out to Alex since he mentioned on FounderDating that he was working on a music startup. He only had a mockup of what the site might look like and I immediately saw the potential and we’ve been working on MMV ever since.
What is your favorite part of being a part of the Capital Factory community?
Without a doubt, it’s getting access to the Mentors. We are very active when it comes to Mentor meetings which I believe is the biggest benefit to Capital Factory. The Mentors have really helped us refine our value prop and have opened our minds to new revenue opportunities.
Besides the Mentors, I like being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs and getting to know them and their startup projects.
Why did you choose Austin as the home for your company?
I think Austin is an ideal place for any young entrepreneur. The city is filled with ambitious, interesting, entrepreneurial people and unlike other startup hubs that I’ve been to, the people in Austin are always willing to help each other out.
Having CF, Techstars, WeWork, and UT all so close to each other keeps Mentors, investors, potential co-founders, and attorneys at an arm’s length at all times, which is a big benefit to entrepreneurs who need guidance and capital as they grow their companies.
What is the most challenging part about being an entrepreneur?
The most challenging part of being an entrepreneur for me is the tremendous amount of assumptions we have to make. We try to make more informed decisions through market validation and thorough research but ultimately every decision you make involves finger crossing and blind faith.
What is one piece of advice you have for founders in your vertical who are considering joining an Accelerator program?
If you’re a music tech startup in Austin, don’t say you’re a music tech startup in Austin. Describe yourself as something else and say the tool you use to get users and/or generate revenue is leveraging people’s love of music.
What is the most rewarding part about running a startup?
I think the most rewarding part is seeing ideas go from white boards, to wireframes, to MVP, to launch, and then seeing people use and like the product.
What is your ultimate goal for MMV?
We’ve been building a music contest site, but we’d like to ultimately build a community for up-and-coming musicians to showcase their original music, connect with fans, and finance their careers by participating in our contests.
Between closing MMV’s seed round, building their app, and bringing on a partnership with a major industry veteran, Luis and Alex also secured licensing agreements with Sony/ATV, Universal, Warner, and Kobalt that gives MMV access to all of their songs. Oh, and in addition to all of this success with MMV, Luis is also pursuing a Masters degree in Technology Commercialization at McCombs Business School at UT and doing an internship at the Austin Technology Incubator. Can you say “allstar”??
By now I know you’re probably curious as to what a jazz version of Taylor Swift would sound like. Or a pop-rock version of Jason Derulo. Go hear, discover, and support up-and-coming talent on Music Meets Video. Your votes can help determine the next big thing in music!
Tune into Access Accelerator again next month to get the scoop on another stellar company!