Detroit-based musicians and Musictech startups will have an opportunity to work alongside Motown Records as part of two new programs to be offered at Motown Museum and TechTown Detroit. Sixty years after Berry Gordy founded the legendary label in Detroit, Motown Records remains committed to fueling the visions of the city’s music and entrepreneurial talent. The label will offer the Motown Musician Accelerator and gBETA Musictech programs in partnership with Motown Museum, Capitol Music Group, TechTown Detroit and gener8tor.
Motown President Ethiopia Habtemariam said, “Detroit has always been a creative hub for new talent and development. With the Motown Musician Accelerator initiative, we have an opportunity to come back to Detroit and highlight the incredible talent that has always existed in their community. Being able to provide the necessary support, funding and programming to help them grow in their careers is an absolute honor for us.”
Marc Byers, Motown Records’ General Manager, said, “Detroit, Motown’s original home, is at the verge of a true comeback. It’s our pleasure to be contributors in helping musicians with funding and programming to help their careers.”
The Motown Musician Accelerator will launch in the summer of 2019. A competitive selection and interview process helmed by industry leaders is now underway to narrow the applicants to four musicians or musical groups that will participate in the inaugural 12-week program.
Each of the four artists will receive individualized coaching, industry introductions and a $20,000 grant. The grants can be utilized to address needs that will further the artists’ musical careers, such as studio sessions, travel to meet industry leaders and collaborators, photoshoots, equipment and more. With sponsors covering the costs of the grants and operations, the program will be completely free for participating musicians, requiring no fees or royalties.
Quarterly workshop programming for the public will be a second component of the Musician Accelerator program. During sessions at TechTown Detroit, the Motown Museum, and the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA, industry professionals will candidly address such topics as distribution, booking and touring, songwriting and more. The Motown Musician Accelerator will be operated by gener8tor, a turnkey platform for the creative economy that connects startups, entrepreneurs, artists, investors, universities and corporations.
The Motown Musician Accelerator and the grants it provides to the participating artists are funded by generous donations from the Esther Gordy Edwards Family Foundation, Microsoft and Hassan Bazzi, among others.
“In a city with an extraordinary musical heritage, this program leverages a powerful collaboration of leaders in technology, entertainment and culture,” said Robin Terry, CEO and Chairwoman of Motown Museum. “As the institution committed to preserving the Motown legacy—and continuing the tradition of entrepreneurship and opportunity that are cornerstones of the Motown story—we are honored to be a partner in this platform to provide the next generation of talented artists and entrepreneurs with the access, resources and mentorship to help them thrive.”
Capitol Records Hollywood, California
Concurrently, five Detroit-area startups will be selected to participate in a gBETA Musictech program, which will operate at TechTown Detroit under gener8tor’s “gBETA” model: a seven-week program requiring no fees and no equity. There will also be a gBETA Musictech program held at Capitol Records Tower with an additional five companies, sourced internationally. The selected companies will work closely with successful entrepreneurs, music industry experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, technologists, acclaimed producers, songwriters and influencers to develop strategies to grow, gain customer traction and pitch investors.
Applications are currently being accepted for the gBETA Musictech program, which is open exclusively to startups focused on music technology. This includes technologies related to sourcing, recording, production, distribution, marketing, touring, licensing and streaming as well as any technology or process innovations that could serve any component of the music industry.
“This is truly a deep, passion project for me. Being the son of an original Funk Brother, producer and arranger during early days of Motown, I grew up witnessing and experiencing the creation of music that is truly world-renowned and which will forever be the heartbeat of the great city of Detroit,” said Paul Riser, Director of Detroit Urban Solutions at TechTown Detroit. “But after observing the unfortunate decrease in investment for creative arts in schools, I’ve strived to not only be a part of the city's revitalization, but to contribute to a renewed intersection of music, innovation and entrepreneurship. Working with Gener8tor, Motown Museum, Capitol Records, Universal Music and Motown Records to deliver a program that will pour so much into some of the very best talent of our city is nothing short of a dream come true.”
Individuals and organizations who would like to get involved with either program – as mentors, service providers, sponsors, etc. – are invited to reach out to [email protected]. Potential applicants can learn more and apply to the accelerator programs at MotownMusicianAccelerator.com and gBETAmusictech.com.
A search is underway for a Director to lead the Motown Musician Accelerator. Desired candidates have existing experience and a strong network in the music industry, and ideally have already helped manage or develop talent. Interested candidates can apply at gener8tor.com/careers.