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Red Bull looks to give music start-ups wings with new accelerator

Friday, 12 April 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Energy drink brand Red Bull has launched a start-up accelerator dubbed the Red Bull Amplifier, aimed solely at music-related ideas, but will offer industry access rather than venture capital.


Red Bull Amplifier is, according to company spokesperson Gemma Lacey, designed to help the most innovative music start-ups by giving them access to Red Bull’s international network.


Red Bull claims to have more than 37 million followers on Facebook and one million followers on Twitter.


Red Bull Amplifier, developed alongside London-based design and innovation agency Sidekick Studios, is being positioned as an alternative to incubator heavyweights such as Y Combinator.


“Redefining the standard accelerator model, no money will change hands,” Lacey wrote in a company blog.


“The program is a creative partnership designed to help start-ups that are ready to scale their business by engaging them with Red Bull’s networks and enhancing its existing music properties with innovative technology.”

Submissions close on April 22, and up to 10 successful applicants will be informed by May 27.


Lacey said the submissions will be screened by a panel of industry experts including singer and producer Ghostpoet, Ciara Bryne from VentureBeat and Dave Haynes from SoundCloud.


According to Haynes, Red Bull Amplifier is well placed to meet the needs of music start-ups.


“Sometimes it’s not enough to get a small amount of funding or the accolades that some start-up accelerators provide,” Haynes said in a statement.


“What counts for early stage music start-ups is exposure to a critical mass of potential new users.”


Red Bull has outlined the eligibility criteria:


  • Is your product innovative and does it make experiencing music better?
  • Are you an independent, early stage start-up with a strong team?
  • Is your product developed enough to go to market or be piloted with a large number of users?
  • Can we deliver something awesome together for Red Bull’s music channels?


Red Bull Australia could not be reached for comment.